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The
Ultimate Fighting Championship
is stacking the deck when it
comes to its return trip to London this July.

On Thursday, the organization announced
a high-stakes light heavyweight battle for the
UFC Fight Night event on July 23
. The event currently has no
title, but it does have its headliner as well as a destination. It
will be held at the O2 Arena in London, for a card that has gained
Paul
Craig
(16-4-1) vs. Volkan
Oezdemir
(17-6) on a billing that already includes multiple
intriguing fights.

“Bearjew” Craig will make his way back to action on a six-fight
unbeaten streak that includes victories over the likes of Mauricio
Rua
, Jamahal
Hill
and Nikita
Krylov
on his way up. The Scotland native has yet to win a
fight on the scorecards, with all 16 of his career triumphs
including eight in the Octagon coming by stoppage. Of those eight
finishes, six have been accompanied by “Performance of the Night”
bonus checks, including three of his last four.

While Craig surges into this contest with a great deal of momentum
behind him, Oezdemir has lost his last two. Defeats to future title
contender Jiri
Prochazka
and top-five foe Magomed
Ankalaev
in 2020 and 2021, respectively, derailed the momentum
he had been rebuilding by beating Ilir Latifi
and Aleksandar
Rakic
in 2019. The Swede joined the organization in 2017,
rattling off three straight wins to earn a crack at Daniel
Cormier
’s belt in 2018 – Oezdemir went on to suffer his first
career knockout loss against “DC.”

The event referred to as UFC London will be held in the British
capital city of London on July 23, with Curtis
Blaydes
vs. Liverpool native Tom
Aspinall
as its main event. Additional key matchups on the
marquee include a middleweight scrap between Darren Till
and Jack
Hermansson
, a light heavyweight rumble pitting Nikita
Krylov
against Alexander
Gustafsson
and a wild flyweight affair when Muhammad
Mokaev
takes on Charles
Johnson
.


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