Aspinall has breezed past all five of his UFC opponents so far, but the Brit is adamant he needs to refine his skillset before challenging for the heavyweight title
Tom Aspinall could be a top-five heavyweight if he gets past Curtis Blaydes at UFC London – but insists he needs more experience before challenging for the belt.
Aspinall headlines his second UFC event in the English capital on July 23 as he faces wrestling standout Blaydes, who only has been beaten once in the last four years. Aspinall picked up the biggest win of his career in his last fight, submitting MMA veteran Alexander Volkov in the first round.
The 29-year-old has a lot of self belief, declaring he is one of the best UFC heavyweights of all time. Despite this, Aspinall thinks he needs to improve as a fighter before challenging for the heavyweight title.
“I want to keep the title when I get it,” he told Mirror Fighting . “I don’t want to just have a go, get knocked out and then never be near the title again. I want to give myself as much chance of getting the title and keeping it as I can. For that, I think I need more experience so that’s why I’m fighting whoever I can.
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“I believe Curtis is No.4, after that I’ll fight someone else ranked higher than that. I’ll just keep going like that until I get to the title. I’m in no rush, I’ve got a long time in front of me in the sport.
“I think I’m one of the best UFC heavyweights to walk the face of the earth, but I’m also realistic in the fact that I want to give myself the best chance of cementing my legacy. I’m not like ‘I need to be the champion now’, I’ve just got to take my time and do it my way.”
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Since debuting for the UFC two years ago, Aspinall has never seen a third round after winning all of his fights by stoppage. Aspinall is apprehensive to put a date on when he plans to become champion, insisting he would be a fool to look past his upcoming fight against Blaydes.
“It depends on how much I fight and how the fights go,” he said about becoming a champion. “I’m not the kind of person who thinks light years ahead, I take every day as it comes. I’ve got a massive fight coming up and if I look past that, it’s suicide. I think it’s ignorant, arrogant and plain silly to look past that so I’m just thinking about beating Curtis Blaydes.”
UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: BLAYDES vs. ASPINALL tickets go on sale from 10:00 a.m. BST on Saturday, May 28, via AXS and Ticketmaster.