It’s main event time! Two giants, Russia vs Britain! Russian skyscraper Alexander Volkov hopes to return to the win column by stopping the rise of savvy Brit Tom Aspinall.
Alexander Volkov has hit a rocky road in his career where he’s not quite good enough to reach the top, but only loses to the very best in the division. A victory over Volkov for Tom Aspinall means he’s the cream of the crop, if not, then he has some work to do.
A lot of people are (ironically) overlooking the towering Russian, and are unaware that he poses much more of a threat than meets the eye. Let me tell you why.
Alexander Volkov vs Tom Aspinall Prediction
Read my other predictions here
Firstly, let’s talk about stance and fluidity. The 6’7 (rumored to be closer to 6’10) Volkov, favors a slower, plodding approach. It’s hard not to be on the backfoot versus a man with legs the size of tree trunks, but that’s where Volkov works best. The best weapon that Volkov possesses is his crushing leg kicks and front teep, which would demolish any ordinary man. In his last fight, a losing effort against Ciryl Gane, Volkov mauled Gane’s leading leg, turning it black and blue. Gane was fortunate enough to have been a pro Muay Thai fighter, anybody with less conditioning would succumb to the assault.
Volkov is a man who knows how to use his size and range, he easily weighs in well above the HW limit when he steps in the cage. Portions of this weight are transferred into everything he throws, including his kicks. I’d like to specifically talk about Volkov’s leg kicks and front kicks, as I believe they are his main avenues to victory in this fight.
As displayed against Walk Harris, Volkov’s teep is like a piston shot right into your liver. The best thing about this teep is the fact Volkov can feint a leg kick, and turn it into a front kick. This is the most important thing that Aspinall needs to be aware of in this fight.
Tom Aspinall is an especially bouncy heavyweight, with extremely good boxing and takedowns. His problems start to occur in his stance and movement. As a bouncy fighter, his invisible weapon is mobility, which will be sapped by Volkov’s thudding leg kicks. Tom also has his right side facing his opponent, so teeps to the liver are more readily available. Tom can’t bounce into range as effectively for fear of intercepting punches, kicks, and teeps.
I feel as though Volkov is being heavy underrated, and Tom’s recent momentum is providing a sort of bias that discounts what Volkov is capable of. If Tom can defy my expectations and dominate Volkov, then I’ll be sold. Until then, I predict Volkov is going to sap his energy with strong, long kicks, before taking him into deep water in the later rounds, finishing the Brit with attrition.
My pick – Volkov by late round KO/TKO
Alexander Volkov vs Tom Aspinall Betting Suggestion
Volkov is the slight underdog, 10/11 to win out right. Both Volkov by KO/TKO/SUB/DQ and to win by decision are 3/1 odds. I suggest picking Volkov to win out right, but those odds by finish should be very tempting. Per Bet365
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Read my other predictions for UFC London
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- Muhammad Mokaev vs Cody Durden
- Cory McKenna vs Elise Reed
- Jack Shore vs Timur Valiev
- Nikita Krylov vs Paul Craig
- Shamil Abdurakhimov vs Sergei Pavlovich
- Mike Grundy vs Makwan Amirkhani
- Jai Herbert vs Ilia Topuria
- Molly McCann vs Luana Carolina
- Gunnar Nelson vs Takashi Sato
- Paddy Pimblett vs Rodrigo Vargas
- Arnold Allen vs Dan Hooker
- Alexander Volkov vs Tom Aspinall
Based in the UK, Mathew is a sports writer specialising in MMA. He has worked for Heavy on UFC, Sportskeeda, and MMA UK. You can contact Mathew on [email protected]