UFC Fight Night 127 from London, England is done and dusted and despite a somewhat weak card on paper – more on that later – the fighters up and down the card delivered and we got a wild and somewhat wacky night of action inside the Octagon, capped off with the emergence of a new contender at Heavyweight.
As always the night of fights saw its ups and downs, but on a night largely full of fun fights, thankfully for the fans who attended it was mostly ups. Here are the best and worst moments from UFC Fight Night 127.
#1 Best: New contenders continue to emerge at Heavyweight
Recently it feels like the UFC Heavyweight division – long considered an ageing one – is finally witnessing a changing of the guard. First, we saw the veteran Alistair Overeem brutally knocked out by Francis Ngannou, and just last month another veteran, Mark Hunt, was beaten comprehensively by up-and-comer Curtis Blaydes.
Until last night, former UFC champ Fabricio Werdum had seemed immune to this, as he’d beaten a pair of prospects in Walt Harris and Marcin Tybura in 2017 to remain ranked in the top five. But faced with former Bellator champ Alexander Volkov – himself on a three-fight win streak – Werdum’s fine run finally came to an end via a nasty knockout.
Werdum appeared to be winning in the early going, controlling Volkov on the ground in the first and second rounds in particular, but by the third, it looked like he was getting tired while the younger Volkov still looked fresh. The tide appeared to be turning and in the fourth, Volkov landed a series of hard shots from inside Werdum’s guard and then knocked the Brazilian out when the fight returned to standing.
It was the biggest win of Volkov’s career and while a lot of it might be to do with time catching up to Werdum – who didn’t appear to be in his best shape – it should still be enough to earn him at least a #1 contender’s match for a shot at the Stipe Miocic/Daniel Cormier winner. Even if Volkov doesn’t get a title shot though, this was still a huge moment for the division as it signified another one of the old guard falling to a younger opponent.
Change is afoot in the division for sure.