This upcoming weekend, the UFC returns for UFC Fight Night London: Blaydes vs. Aspinall in what will be an overly exciting fight card.
This main event will include two of the most resilient heavyweights in the division. Curtis Blaydes, who is a tank with wrestling abilities, and Tom Aspinall, who is a heavyweight capable of moving around like a middleweight.
Peeking around this card, I was able to find two fights that will not only be jam-packed with energy but also hold a lot of value. Read below for my UFC picks for Paul Craig vs. Volkan Oezdemir and Jack Hermannson vs. Chris Curtis.
Paul Craig vs. Volkan Oezdemir
UFC Light Heavyweight Main Card Bout
Saturday, July 23, 2022 – 03:00 PM EDT at O2 Arena
Paul “Bearjew” Craig is a Scottish mixed martial artist with a current professional record of 16 wins (3 T/KO, 13 Submissions), 4 losses (3 T/KO, 1 Submission), and 1 draw.
Bearjew is crafty on the feet with brutal kicks but is a master on the ground. Often his striking is an invitation for his opponent to grab him and switch levels, but little do they know it’s a trap.
One trait in his striking, though, is that he tends to wind up his punches and kicks making it easier for his opponents to block and counter.
Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir is a Swiss mixed martial artist with a current professional record of 17 wins (12 T/KO, 1 Submission, 4 Decisions) and 6 losses (2 T/KO, 2 Submissions, 2 Decisions).
No Time is a very technical and powerful striker as 71% of his victories have come by knockout. With a background in kickboxing, Oezdemir has been focusing more on his power punches by applying forward pressure and staying inside the pocket.
Craig vs. Oezdemir: Odds Breakdown
- Volkan Oezdemir (-147)
- Paul Craig (+127)
Craig vs. Oezdemir: Betting Pick and Prediction
This will be a fun grappler vs. striker matchup for sure, and I will say, the value behind Paul Craig is hard to deny.
Although I do believe Oezdemir wins in the striking department, if Craig can keep Oezdemir at bay or fish him into one of his takedown attempts, then he can definitely come out as the victorious underdog.
Both fighters work well in the clinch, capable of short uppercuts and elbows. It’s all a matter of who executes first.
Paths to Victory
So, Oezdemir’s path to victory will be to keep this fight standing. If he is capable of stuffing Craig’s takedown attempts and keeping this a technical bout, I could see Oezdemir sneaking in and potentially clipping Craig’s chin.
Craig’s path to victory will be to control Oezdemir’s ability to get inside the pocket. Once doing so, he will be able to find a way to scramble and put Oezdemir in a position he does not want to be in.
I think Craig is capable of keeping up with Oezdemir on the feet and will be able to drag Oezdemir down to the ground to have it his way. Side with the underdog.
UFC Pick: Paul Craig (+127) at BetOnline
Jack Hermansson vs. Chris Curtis
UFC Middleweight Co-Main Event Bout
Saturday, July 23, 2022 - 03:00 PM ET at O2 Arena
Jack “The Joker” Hermansson is a Swedish mixed martial artist with a current professional record of 22 wins (11 T/KO, 6 Submissions, 5 Decisions) and 7 losses (2 T/KO, 2 Submissions, 3 Decisions).
The Joker is currently ranked #8 in the UFC middleweight division and is a former middleweight Cage Warriors champion.
Hermansson has struggled to keep a consistent fight as he is 2-3 in his last five contests.
Chris “The Action Man” Curtis is an American mixed martial artist with a current professional record of 29 wins (16 T/KO, 1 Submission, 12 Decisions) and 8 losses (1 T/KO, 1 Submission, 6 Decisions).
The Action Man is a former welterweight champion from CES MMA, Premier MMA, and Z Promotion.
Curtis has made an imprint in martial arts with his durability and knockout abilities.
Hermansson vs. Curtis: Odds Breakdown
UFC odds via BetOnline
- Jack Hermansson (-105)
- Chris Curtis (-115)
Hermansson vs. Curtis: Betting Pick and Prediction
I can totally see why these two contenders are priced so close to each other. Both fighters are versatile and are more than capable of finishing a fight inside the distance. Although Hermansson has more UFC experience than Curtis, I do think Curtis will continue his winning streak on Saturday night.
Hermansson has been hot and cold in his last five contests. In his last outing, he lost by a split decision against Sean Strickland. Meanwhile, Curtis has finished some of the toughest guys in the division including Phil Hawes and Brendan Allen.
Christ Curtis has a high volume in strikes alongside his knockout power, so I can see him outclassing Hermansson in a technical bout. And interestingly, Curtis has fought in seven bouts since 2021 and has finished all opponents but one. Side with the more consistent and powerful fighter.
UFC Pick: Chris Curtis (-115) at BetOnline
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.