Jevgenijs Aleksejevs: Next Fight Preparation
The month of November was the perfect scene setter for what should be a knuckle-dusting, heavy-hitting, and submission-slamming festive period in the Octagon, where there will be plenty of opportunity to bet on UFC fights online.
We saw Alex Pereira land a controversial stoppage win in round two of his clash with Jiří Procházka. The Brazilian targeted Prochazka with some painful leg kicks in the opening round, but the latter came roaring back with some massive hits to the head in the second. However, a counter by Pereira floored him, and despite the Czech fighter appearing to recover quickly, a combination of fist and elbow hammer blows was enough for the referee to call it off. Many observers felt it was too early, especially with Procházka on his feet, but the result means Pereira is just the ninth two-division champion in UFC history.
We also saw Jason Jackson send shockwaves through the Bellator Welterweight division against the previously undefeated Yaroslav Amosov. A brutal right overhand stunned Amosov to send him on his way to a round-three knockout win. It was a masterclass in striking, and it means Jackson has extended his winning streak to seven.
Arguably, the biggest result of the month was an incredible first-round TKO for Tom Aspinall over Sergei Pavlovich at a packed-out Madison Square Garden, meaning he is the interim UFC heavyweight champion. With just 1.09 on the clock, Aspinall had fulfilled a lifelong dream that began when he was eight. A sickening overhand blow to the left temple, followed by another left-right combination to the head, floored Pavlovich, and Aspinall pounced, raining down hammer blows on his dazed opponent to end the fight. An emotional Aspinall now has his eyes set on a bout with Stipe Miocic - win that, and a showdown with Jon Jones could be on the cards.
It was an exciting month - but the good stuff keeps on coming in December. MightyTips ambassador Jevgenijs' The Hurricane' Aleksejevs, an undefeated boxer with a 14-0 record and a combat sports aficionado, is at hand to give us his insights into the biggest fights in December, which includes Paddy Pimblett vs Tony Ferguson.
The Hurricane had Pereira to win by knockout in his fight prediction last month - adding another correct forecast to his impressive record.
Venue: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
Pimblett record: 20-3-0 (6 KOs)
Ferguson record: 26-9-0 (12 KOs)
Odds: Pimblett (1.33 fav) Ferguson (3.25)
Paddy "The Baddy" Pimblett is in action for the first time since 2022, resuming his career after a controversial stoppage over Jared Gordon in December 2022. He takes on an out-of-sorts Tony "El Cucuy" Ferguson, on a run of six straight defeats. The former interim UFC lightweight champion once put together a 12-fight win streak, but the 39-year-old is now on the worse run in his career, and Pimblett will hope to exploit that form and launch his name closer to the top 15 in the lightweight division.
It's tricky to call, and our man, The Hurricane, believes it could be a looking-glass moment for both fighters.
The Hurricane's Verdict:
This fight will mark Tony's return to the big time or Paddy Pimblett's rise to the MMA elite. Six defeats in his last six bouts mean many wonder if Tony's days in fighting sports are numbered. Is he still an elite fighter or merely a gatekeeper? We will find out on December 16. The way I see it, both fighters have enough motivation to produce a great fight. One is eager to prove he is yet to call it a day on fighting, and the other will try to show he is on par with the cream of the crop.
Prediction: Pimblett by decision. Back him via one of our recommended MMA betting apps.
Venue: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
Edwards record: 21-3-0 (7 KOs)
Covington record: 17-3-0 (4 KOs)
Odds: Edwards (1.83 fav) Covington (2.04)
On the same card as Pimblett vs Ferguson is another eye-catching fight, with welterweight titleholder Edwards facing Covington in a mouth-watering grudge match.
The latter has been slinging mud in Edwards' direction for the better part of a year, with some rather barbing personal insults bouncing off the stoic British champion.
The Birmingham native is favourite, and for good reason. He has defeated Kamaru Usman on two occasions, while Usman has beaten Covington twice.
Prediction: Edwards by decision. Back him via one of our recommended most popular sportsbooks.
Venue: Moody Center,Austin
Dariush record: 22-5-1 (4 KOs)
Tsarukyan record: 20-3-0 (4 KOs)
Odds: Dariush (3.2) Tsarukyan (1.53 fav)
The month is kicked off by a mouth-watering clash between two of the best lightweights in combat sports - the winner of Beneil Dariush vs. Arman Tsarukyan will do wonders for both fighters' aspiration for a title shot in 2024.
The odds are stacked against Dariush - his confidence would have taken a beating after a beat down at the hands of Charles Oliveira last time out. Tsarukyan, meanwhile, is seeking a third-straight win.
However, Dariush will hope his opponent's lack of elite-level fight experience could give him the edge.
It may be worth going against the bookmakers on this one.