- Tom Aspinall fights Sergei Pavlovich at UFC 295 at Madison Square Garden
- Aspinall has the chance to become Britain’s third UFC champion
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No. 4 ranked UFC heavyweight Tom Aspinall gave a hilarious explanation as to why he is raising his hand against No. 2 ranked Sergei Pavlovich on Saturday night.
At Thursday’s press conference ahead of UFC 295, Aspinall suggested his incredible agility — despite his 6-foot-4, 260-pound frame — will be the key to capturing interim heavyweight gold.
“I’m not going to stand in the middle of the cage and have a shootout with him, I’m not going to have any major competition with him,” Aspinall joked. ‘Both literally and figuratively, because he will probably win both. We’ll see what happens.’
The Englishman added: ‘There’s no one 6-foot-1 and 260 pounds who moves the way I move… he can get all the training partners he wants in the world, but you can’t emulate someone like me in the gym .’
Aspinall – who hails from Wigan – has the chance to become the UK’s third UFC champion, after Hall of Famer Michael Bisping and welterweight king Leon Edwards.
Tom Aspinall is confident he will win his interim title fight at UFC 295 on Saturday night
Aspinall praised Sergei Pavlovich’s skills but remained optimistic about winning the title
“It’s huge, UK MMA is so big at the moment,” Aspinall said.
“We have so many good fighters in the UFC and other organizations as well, we are doing so well as a country. To win the heavyweight title and bring it to Britain is absolutely huge.”
When asked about bringing the UFC title home to his family, the 30-year-old said Saturday night would be the realization of a lifelong dream.
“I’ve been thinking about that since I was eight years old,” Aspinall said. “Just a few more days, it’s going to happen.”
Aspinall has an MMA record of 13-3 and averages less than three minutes in the UFC Octagon
Aspinall and Pavlovich were placed on the Madison Square Garden card after Jon Jones suffered an injury that ruled him out of a title defense and a legacy fight with Stipe Miocic.
Like Aspinall, Pavlovich is known for ending fights early, with both averaging less than three minutes in the Octagon per fight. But despite his respect for Pavlovich’s abilities, Aspinall’s confidence remains steadfast into Saturday night.
‘He impresses me everywhere he goes. I don’t think you can look at his game and say, ‘This is where he’s weak,’” Aspinall said of his opponent.
“I think the biggest problem he has when he fights a guy like me is that there’s no other guy like me in the heavyweight division.”