Paddy Pimblett was the star of UFC London once again, four months after the MMA promotion’s last trip to the English capital, when he submitted Jordan Leavitt in the second round before fellow countryman Tom Aspinall suffered a knee injury just seconds into the main event suffered.
Pimblett, who moved into the O2 Arena with a 2-0 record in the UFC after two first-round wins, was largely overwhelmed by Leavitt in the first round of their fight on Saturday night, but the Liverpool native kept his composure to set up Completion in round 2.
Pimblett, 27, dropped Leavitt with a knee in the clinch as both lightweights tussled along the fence, and “Paddy The Baddy” quickly captured the American’s back before including a rear naked choke. Leavitt soon tapped off, sending the O2 into a frenzy in much the same way the crowd reacted to Pimblett’s submission of Rodrigo Vargas in March.
Later in the night, the much-anticipated heavyweight main event between Wigan’s Aspinall and American Curtis Blaydes came to an end after just 15 seconds when the Briton’s knee buckled after a leg kick.
Aspinall collapsed on the canvas and referee Herb Dean waved the fight off before Blaydes was declared the winner by TKO after a wincing 29-year-old Aspinall finally got to his feet with one leg in a brace.
It marked a disappointing end to another promising evening for British MMA, with Molly McCann notably securing her second straight spinning back elbow finish.
The Liverpudlian, a close friend of Pimblett, arguably scored the knockout of the year at UFC London in March by finishing Luana Carolina with a stunning elbow in Round 3, and it was the same strike that established her win over Hannah Goldy here.
As Goldy was pinned against the fence in the first round, “Meatball Molly” landed a twisting elbow to injure her opponent and leave her vulnerable to a series of punches that dropped the American and led to a stoppage.
Curtis Blaydes defeated. Tom Aspinall via first-round TKO (knee injury, 0:15)
Jack Hermansson defeated. Chris Curtis by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Defeated Paddy Pimblett. Jordan Leavitt on Round Two Submission (Rear Naked Choke, 2:46)
Nikita Krylov defeated. Alexander Gustafsson via KO in the first round (punches, 1:07)
Molly McCann defeated. Hannah Goldy on first round TKO (elbows and punches, 3:53)
Defeated Volkan Odemir. Paul Craig by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
L’udovit Klein def. Mason Jones by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Defeated Marc Diakiese. Damir Hadzovic by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Nathaniel Wood defeated. Charles Rosa by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Jonathan Pearce defeated. Makwan Amirkhani via second-round TKO (punches, 4:10)
Muhammad Mokaev defeated. Charles Johnson by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Defeated Jai Herbert. Kyle Nelson by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Victoria Leonardo defeated. Mandy Bohm by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Nicolas Dalby defeated. Claudio Silva by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)