Tom Aspinall reveals he ‘pulled his back’ just 10 days before UFC 295 KO win over Sergei Pavlovich, with British star unable to train having accepted short-notice fight

Tom Aspinall’s stunning victory over Sergei Pavlovich came after he ‘withdrew’ just days before the UFC 295 showdown.

The British star, who became the third UFC champion from his home country by knocking out the Russian in New York, revealed details of the injury after his victory.

He told Laura Sanko: “I basically pulled my back and didn’t train at all,” he explained.

“I hurt him the first week after I heard about the fight. I haven’t been able to train for the past week and a half.

“I withdrew, had about five days of training, didn’t have a visa, wasn’t sure I could get here, it was just wild, the wildest two weeks ever, everything just went wrong.

British star Tom Aspinall knocked out Sergei Pavlovich in the co-main event of UFC 295

Aspinall later revealed he was 'pulling out' ahead of the UFC heavyweight title fight

Aspinall later revealed he was ‘pulling out’ ahead of the UFC heavyweight title fight

“I will always bet on myself: I would never win this fight if I saw it on TV.”

The revelation makes his victory all the more impressive and finishes off the man who himself had knocked out his last six opponents in the first round.

And he admitted he felt acute nerves beforehand, telling TNT Sport: ‘There were a lot of doubts, a lot, like I said, I’ve never been so scared in my life.

‘I sat in the dressing room and thought, ‘I’m not sure this was the best idea”. It has all paid off now. I have now achieved my career goal. I wanted to be a UFC heavyweight champion. I have achieved that.

“Anything moving forward is just a bonus to be honest. I am now really satisfied with what I have achieved in the sport and now it is just about the legacy. Now I want to be the best heavyweight ever.

“Both champions were unavailable, so I think I’m the real champion. I want to fight at UFC 300, that’s my goal right now.”

He then joked: ‘I think I’ll just go on holiday now until New Year, come back 150kg, fat as hell. Afterwards I said to Sergei: “Thank you and I’m sorry, I love you, this is just a sport, not personal.”

Aspinall revealed that he had suffered a back injury in the ten days before the fight

Aspinall revealed that he had suffered a back injury in the ten days before the fight

It remains to be seen who Aspinall would fight on the UFC 300 card, as Miocic is unlikely to face anyone other than Jones.

‘Bones’ himself may not play for a year as he recovers from a torn pectoral tendon.

But one thing is clear: Aspinall has hit the big time and has become a substantial new jewel in the UFC’s crown.

The Hook double