UFC Fight Night: Alexander Volkov vs. Tom Aspinall Preview

Alexander Volkov and Tom Aspinall will have everyone’s attention this coming Saturday in London. In what could be one of the year’s biggest fights, it sets up the opportunity for Aspinall to make a monumental shift in the heavyweight division. 

Currently, Volkov is ranked sixth and Aspinall sits at 11th per UFC rankings. Check out below to see how this pivotal matchup is going to rock the division and what mma odds are saying about this fight.  

Date: March 19, 2022

Venue: O2 Arena (ENG), London, England

Watch the Main Card on ESPN+ at 4:00 PM

Main Event Breakdown 

Alexander Volkov (34-9-0)

Alexander “Drago” Volkov, nicknamed after the Russian bad guy in Rocky III, is a bad man for a good reason. He is a former M-1 Global and Bellator heavyweight champion looking to gain a belt in the UFC. 

Unfortunately in his quest for that belt so far, he has struggled against some of the top five fighters in the division. These would be losses to current number one fighter Ciryl Gane, fourth ranked Curtis Blaydes, and fifth ranked Derrick Lewis. 

In his time with the UFC, he typically strikes with accuracy at 57 percent and has a fairly high grappling accuracy at 70 percent. He is able to land 4.86 significant strikes each minute and only take on 2.95. 

Volkov is also solid at defending, with a takedown defense at 73 percent and he is able to defend against significant strikes at 54 percent. As for the ground, he throws in less than a takedown per fight. 

Tom Aspinall (11-2-0)

Tom Aspinall is riding a seven fight win streak through his day with Cage Warriors and now with the UFC. One of those was the recent first round knockout to now 15th ranked Sergey Spivak. 

Looking at his four UFC fights, he has ended them all within the first two rounds. In addition, three of those were awarded Fight of the Night bonuses. His background in BJJ, crisp boxing, and above average grappling makes a nightmare for fighters that cannot defend well. 

In those four fights, he usually lands strikes with accuracy at 65 percent and has been perfect at grappling with 100 percent accuracy. He has landed 7.10 significant strikes each minute compared to 2.37. Since his fights have ended early, this striking amount is a bit off but should prove that he is an aggressive striker. 

Aspinall has yet to be taken down and defends moderately against significant strikes with a defense at 70 percent. He also happens to put up 2.73 takedowns and roughly 1.40 submissions in his battles. 

Market Odds for Volkov and Aspinall

Aspinall, on average, is slightly favored to win this fight. In most cases, he has hovered around -120 while Volkov is about +100. 

This is an interesting take, especially since Volkov has championship history and has the stats to back it up. Aspinall is appealing, but he will need to prove it here and now. 

Potential Outcome for Volkov vs. Aspinall 

Aspinall has no doubt looked impressive with his short UFC resume. He has lit up the arena with three excellent Fight of the Night honors and fans have not even seen him past the third round. 

However, Aspinall is taking a huge step up in competition compared to his previous opponents. This is arguably the toughest matchup of his career and hard to decipher just how he will do. 

What fans do know is that Volkov has lost three battles since joining the UFC. These were against elite fighters in the division. 

Volkov’s speed suffered against Gane, his wrestling was not the same compared to Blaydes, and he got clipped with a good shot from Lewis even though he was winning that fight until then. 

Aspinall will have the speed advantage, but his cardio is going to be put to the test. Even with his impressive grappling, Volkov was able to thwart off 16 takedowns from Tybura in his last fight and came away with the win, so Aspinall might be in trouble. 

Volkov is a seasoned veteran that has a lot left to offer. He needs this victory to get back on his title search and a decision victory is just what he needs. 

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