In a wild turn of events, the last 24 hours has had an entire change to the UFC 295 card. With Jon Jones injured and out of the event, Tom Aspinall will now fight Sergei Pavlovich for the interim UFC Heavyweight Championship.
Tom Aspinall Is Up For His Hardest Challenge
Tom Aspinall appeared on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to explain his insane past 48 hours, saying he was called at 6AM on Tuesday morning by the UFC to ask if he was healthy in a 50 second phone call. Fast forward to 4AM Wednesday morning, they called back to offer him a fight against Sergei Pavlovich for the interim gold in two weeks time at UFC 295. Without a second thought, Aspinall accepted. But, he understands this is no easy feat. Speaking to Helwani, Tom Aspinall said;
“You gotta remember, Sergei Pavlovich, in my opinion, most dangerous man in the UFC. I’m not sugar coating it. I’ve had two weeks notice, I’m on a two week training camp, this is the most dangerous guy in the worst situation I can possibly be in. And, I’m not interested [in money], mate, I believe in myself, I think I can beat him, I’ve been matched up against him twice before and I’m hungry to get the heavyweight title, so, I’m in.”
Tom Aspinall has been vocal in the past about how his eyes are firmly on getting championship gold, and now he has the chance. He did mention that he is in good shape, he’s stayed in the gym, but he would’ve had an eight week hard training camp if he had known soon. He realizes though, that these things happen in the sport so he has no excuses.
Sergei Pavlovich was already set as the official backup fighter for the Jones vs. Stipe matchup, so he has been preparing. Stipe wanted to just fight Jon Jones, so he is also out and Tom is in. Speaking on Pavlovich being some-what ready, Aspinall says;
“I feel like I have some absolutely ginormous cojones, that’s what I feel like, to be honest with you. Because, you know, you know just like I know, and maybe some of the fans, people watching this don’t know, there’s a lot of people who give it the big time in the media and stuff, and they’re dodging fights mate, left and right. Look at Stipe, Stipe didn’t want this fight, Stipe didn’t want the fight, he’s the greatest heavyweight of all time and he didn’t want the fight with Pavlovich, Pavlovich was the backup fighter, so, and there’s plenty other people mate, dodging Pavlovich as well and you know, I’m stepping up mate. Two weeks notice I’m doing stuff that no one else will dare to do. Im daring to be great and I was watching the David Goggins video, you seen it, when he’s on the bench press and he’s just screaming “They don’t know me, son! They don’t know me, son!” That’s how I’m feeling right now. Like, all the doubters are going to see. Two weeks notice, doesn’t matter, the most dangerous man in the UFC. They don’t know me. They don’t know me. And we’ll see, we’ll see what goes on.”
UFC 295 goes down on November 11th in New York City at Madison Square Garden. The event will be headlined by Jiri Prochazka vs. Alex Pereira for the vacant UFC Light Heavyweight Title, with the interim Heavyweight Championship bout in the co-main event slot.
From: Brady Alexander