Ranked heavyweight Tom Aspinall is about to make the biggest jump of his MMA career thus far.
Aspinall is scheduled to headline a UFC card for the first time in his career in March, facing Alexander Volkov at the O2 Arena in London, England. The fight is a huge opportunity for Aspinall, who has yet to lose through four fights in the UFC.
Aspinall has said before that he wants his UFC career to be a slow climb to the top. However, recent changes in his personal life have made him want to speed up the process and jump at the big chances he gets.
The heavyweight prospect recently described why this “180” degree turn to his planning when interviewed on The MMA Hour.
“On every interview that I’ve ever done basically I say that I want to take it slow and I want to take my time and all that. And I’m just doing a 180 on everybody. And I understand why people might find that a little bit confusing, but you know there’s a lot of stuff going on in my personal life and stuff. A few close people recently have passed away. Not so much close people but people that I’ve grown up with and stuff,” said Aspinall. “And I just kind of realized, you know what, you get to live this life one time. I’ve been a fan of Alexander Volkov since he was in Bellator since he was Bellator champ, and you know, mate you don’t get these opportunities every day.”
Aspinall joined the UFC roster just as the COVID-19 pandemic started to change how they operate. Because of this, his four-fight run with the promotion has taken place exclusively in studio settings.
That will change in his upcoming main event fight, as his bout against Volkov will be live in front of thousands in attendance. Aspinall was first set to make his UFC debut in London two years ago against Raphael Pessoa. However, COVID-19 forced that event as a whole to get thrown out. Two years later, Aspinall feels like the stars have aligned for him.
“I’ve never fought in front of a UFC crowd before. I was supposed to fight in London two years ago when the show got canceled. And I just feel like it’s meant to be. It’s come full circle. They offered it [to] me and I just jumped on it, man.”