UFC London returns this Saturday with a full card of action. Tom Aspinall returns in the Main Event to take on Marcin Tybura.
Makhmud Muradov (-300) vs. Bryan Barberena (+260)
Muradov comes into this fight on a two-fight losing streak alongside his opponent Barberena who is also on a two-fight skid. Muradov will be Barberena’s first attempt to move up to 185 pounds at 34 years old leaving the welterweight division (170 lbs.). Interesting move for Barberena as he was never a big guy at welterweight and will now be facing a sizeable 6’2 Muradov at 185 pounds.
Muradov is the greater striker and will be landing the bigger shots here. Barberena may find some success when attempting to close the distance to his preferred range but in this case, Muradov will be able to implement some grappling to nullify Barberena’s only path to victory which is the dirty boxing and short-ranged combos. Muradov has better grappling ability if needed and will be a bigger, faster, and more effective fighter.
I believe this fight will remain on the feet for as long as it goes and with Barberena’s durability and toughness not what it used to be this should be a great fight for Muradov to show off his striking. As well as earn himself another finish as 20 of his wins have come inside the distance.
Official Pick- Makhmud Muradov ML
Jafel Filho (-110) vs. Daniel Barez (+100)
Opening up the Prelims this Saturday are two exciting flyweights relatively new to the UFC scene. Filho makes his sophomore appearance after his debut against Muhammad Mokaev in which he showed some grappling potential when he had Mokaev, a decorated grappler in the deepest knee bar I have ever seen. Ultimately Filho was subbed late in round 3 but proved he can hang with some UFC-caliber competition. Daniel Barez appeared on the Contender Series in 2021 where he lost a split decision to Carlos Hernandez. Since then, he has rallied off four first-round finishes on the regional scene to earn his second chance here in London.
Filho with 13 of his 14 wins coming to ITD has a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu but seems to struggle to get his offensive wrestling going while he is also willing to lose minutes on his back. On the feet, Filho does not have crazy power but will look to throw plenty of leg kicks. Barez comes from a high-level grappling background he also carries power in his hands as 13 of his 16 wins have also come to ITD. I believe Barez will be the better fighter all around in this fight with his striking being faster and more powerful, his wrestling will be sharper, and can win minutes with strong ground and pound while Filho fishes for subs from his back. I expect this fight to be fireworks from the start and believe Barez will get it done in the end.
Official Pick- Daniel Barez ML