Tom Aspinall is back. The English heavyweight, whose career was put on the shelf for a year after damaging his knee in a London main event against Curtis Blaydes almost a year ago to the day, returned in spectacular fashion at The O2 Arena.

Aspinall faced Poland’s Marcin Tybura in the main event of UFC London, with Aspinall returning against a man who had won seven of his last eight outings. It was expected to pose an interesting test for the Englishman, who was determined to make a statement on his return to the Octagon.

Aspinall came out of the traps fast, and connected with a big head kick on Tybura with his very first strike of the bout. He then connected with some crisp combinations before preparing to launch into the blitz that would finish the fight. A two-punch combo dropped Tybura to the mat, and a barrage of follow-up ground strikes forced referee Marc Goddard to wave off the fight at the 1:13 mark of the opening round.

Aspinall then paid tribute to his opponent before sharing with the world his plan to get to the top of the UFC heavyweight division.

“I’ll tell you exactly what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna go to Paris. I’m gonna be sat front row for Cyril Gane against Serghei Spivac,” he said.

“I’m gonna beat the winner. And then I’m gonna beat Jon Jones.”

Stoliarenko plays spoiler with slick armbar submission

In the night’s co-main event, Julija Stoliarenko showcased her slick submission skills with a first-round finish of Molly McCann.

Stoliarenko came out looking to strike, and used her longer reach well in the early exchanges. And, just as McCann looked like she was beginning to find her boxing range, the Lithuanian changed levels and took the action to the mat.

Once the pair were on the canvas, Stoliarenko quickly went to work as she chased her go-to submission. And, after a couple of McCann scrambles, Stoliarenko got what she was chasing as she locked up a tight armbar to force the tap at the 1:55 mark.

Wood narrowly defeats Fili after featherweight war

London’s own Nathaniel Wood claimed a memorable win after going all three rounds – and surviving a second-round knockdown – against Andre Fili.

In a superb back-and-forth war that saw the momentum shift on multiple occasions, both men looked close to finishing the other, courtesy of their strikes, while the pair also battled it out on the mat as they traded submission attempts.

After Wood claimed the upper hand in the first round with a big knockdown, Fili responded with a salvo of knees in the second that sent the Englishman to the canvas. It meant the bout hung in the balance as the fight went into the final round.

And, after Wood appeared to edge a very cagey final round with a thumping counter left, the bout went to the scorecards. The three cageside judges all agreed on the winner, as they all scored the bout 29-28, 29-28, 29-28 to the Londoner, whose victory was cheered to the rafters by The O2 Arena crowd.

Craig delivers on middleweight debut

It was a big night for Scotland’s Paul Craig, who made his debut as a middleweight and produced an outstanding performance to defeat No. 14-ranked contender Andre Muniz to take the roof off The O2 Arena.

With the London crowd desperate to see another UK win, the fans were on the edge of their seats as Craig and Muniz, both lethal submission artists, went toe to toe in the early exchanges. Both landed some solid shots, but the action really cranked up once the action went to the mat.

And, in the second round, it was Craig applying the pressure as he chased a submission finish of the Brazilian. But, with Muniz doing just enough to defend the Scot’s submission attacks, Craig changed tack and let fly with a barrage of punches and elbows to eventually force referee Dan Movahedi to step in, wave off the action, and cause bedlam inside the arena.

Ziam outpoints Herbert

Fares Ziam claimed the 14th win of his professional career with a unanimous decision victory over England’s Jai Herbert.

The matchup pitted two tall, rangy strikers head to head, and the action was close and competitive through all three rounds, as the pair traded strikes and engaged in clinch battles against the fence. After a bout that was tightly contested throughout, it was Frenchman Ziam who earned the victory from all three judges, who scored it 29-28, 29-28, 30-27.

Murphy stays undefeated with shutout win

The bout looked more competitive in real life than the scorecards may have suggested, but Lerone Murphy added another composed performance, and another win, to his growing resume with victory over Josh Culibao.

Murphy and Culibao engaged in a competitive scrap through the first two rounds, but in Round 3, Murphy completely took over to such an extent that he earned 10-8 scores for Round 3 from two of the cageside judges.

In the final reckoning, all three judges gave all three rounds to “The Miracle,” who called for a shot at ranked opposition as he looks to turn his 13-0-1 career into a run towards the title at 145 pounds.

Marcos edges Grant to continue undefeated streak

Due to the extended run time of the prelims, the bantamweight bout between Davey Grant and Daniel Marcos was promoted to the main card, and the pair served up a back-and-forth technical battle that left the judges split on the winner.

Both men had their successes through three highly-competitive rounds but, when it came to determining the winner, it was Marcos whose hand was raised after the judges returned a split decision in the Peruvian’s favor.

The London crowd weren’t impressed with the final outcome, but the decision meant that Marcos extended his perfect professional record to 15-0 with the most significant victory of his career so far.

Mixed fortunes for UFC debutants

The most explosive debut of the night came courtesy of Jonny Parsons, who engaged in a wild back-and-forth battle with England’s Danny Roberts that proved why Parsons is nicknamed “The Sluggernaut.”

Roberts appeared to have the upper hand early as he kept things technical and at distance. But, once Parsons managed to get into closer range, the bout turned into an all-out war as both men planted their feet and swung for the fences in a wild slugfest.

Roberts landed big shots, but Parsons took them well, and when the American returned the favor, his power put Roberts in trouble. And, after a heavy-handed exchange late in Round 2 put Roberts on wobbly legs, the Englishman opted to press forward. It gave Parsons a late opening to finish the fight, and he did just that, as he dropped Roberts and finished him with ground strikes with just two seconds left in the round.

The event also saw the debut of English heavyweight Mick Parkin, who comprehensively outstruck American Jamal Pogues to earn a shutout victory on the scorecards.

Parkin used his jab and leg kicks well as he consistently found a home for his strikes against a tentative Pogues. The Englishman’s work and solid pace through the full three-round duration earned him a unanimous decision victory and

It wasn’t as successful a night for fellow Octagon debutants Shauna Bannon and Daniel Barez, who lost out in their respective bouts.

Barez started his bout with Jafel Filho superbly, and appeared to have the Brazilian hurt with punches and kicks to the body. But Filho rallied and eventually forced Barez to tap to an arm-triangle mid-way through the first round of the opening bout of the night.

Bannon’s debut, meanwhile, ended with defeat on the scorecards after being outworked by Brazil’s Bruna Brasil.

Vieira claims crucial win

Elsewhere on the card, number-four-ranked women’s bantamweight contender Ketlen Vieira claimed an important victory by defeating seventh-ranked Pannie Kianzad to keep her name squarely in the list of contenders for the vacant 135-pound title.

Vieira defeated Kianzad via unanimous decision, with all three judges scoring the bout 29-28 in the Brazilian’s favor to put her back in the win column after her split-decision loss to Raquel Pennington in January.

UFC London: Official results


  • Tom Aspinall vs. Marcin Tybura via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:13
  • Julija Stoliarenko def. Molly McCann via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 1:55
  • Nathaniel Wood def. Andre Fili via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Paul Craig def. Andre Muniz via TKO (punches and elbows) – Round 2, 4:40
  • Fares Ziam def. Jai Herbert via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Lerone Murphy def. Josh Culibao (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
  • Daniel Marcos def. Davey Grant via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)


  • Jonny Parsons vs. Danny Roberts via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 4:58
  • Joel Alvarez def. Marc Diakiese via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 2, 1:26
  • Mick Parkin def. Jamal Pogues via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Makhmud Muradov def. Bryan Barberena via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Ketlen Vieira def. Pannie Kianzad via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Chris Duncan def. Yanal Ashmouz via unanimous decision  (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Bruna Brasil def. Shauna Bannon via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Jafel Filho def. Daniel Barez via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 3:26