Aspinall Takes UFC Gold
Words by Murdo Todd.
After knocking out then No.1 ranked Sergei Pavlovich in little more than a minute, Tom Aspinall became the Interim UFC Heavyweight Champion, and just the third UK based fighter to touch UFC gold.
The win not only cements him as arguably the best heavyweight in the world, but also a titan in the UK and Ireland MMA scene. Aspinall is another example of the talents that this blossoming regional scene has helped produce over the years.
Full Contact Contender is a leading figure in the scene, and while Aspinall is the first former FCC fighter to become UFC champion, he will likely not be the last with the talent that continues to come through the promotion.
Aspinall fought on FCC in both amateur and professional bouts, going undefeated across all three contests. However, those three outings would last just over two and a half minutes - including a 14 second knockout over Tom Bankevics at FCC 9 back in 2014. Aspinall was nothing but sensational during his time with the promotion, displaying his class in every single outing. His amateur bouts are available on the FCC YouTube channel and his pro bouts can be seen exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.
At 7-2, and two fights removed from his last appearance on FCC, Aspinall would be signed to the UFC and proceeded to embark on his phenomenal run. The Englishman has gone 7-1 during his time with the UFC, only dropping a loss to Curtis Blaydes after suffering a serious knee injury in the opening moments of the fight.
In those seven wins, Aspinall has only seen a second round once after former heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski, would last until the six-minute mark. He also holds wins over Sergei Spivac, Alexander Volkov and Marcin Tybura.
Talking after his first-round knockout victory at FCC 16 Aspinall displayed exactly why he has been so successful.
“It was a bit stressful because I only fought about four or five weeks ago,” Aspinall said. “Pretty sure I’ve broken my hand, so I’ve not been able to spar. I’ve pulled my shoulder out on Monday, so it’s just been really stressful, it’s been a release to get it over.”
“I wanna have some time off to heal the injuries because I am literally never out the gym, I’m training every single day.
“A fight’s a fight mate,” Aspinall continued. “Doesn’t matter if it’s FCC, UFC, or someone’s back garden so for me shows don’t really matter. As long as I’m getting and competing, that’s what makes me happy.”
“To be honest, I just focus on myself I don’t focus on what anyone else does. I just focus on myself and try to think about the bigger picture, and just enjoy the moment that I’m in.”
Aspinall is now in prime position to face Jon Jones in a massive undisputed heavyweight title clash and is set to be one Jones’ toughest tests to date.