Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Darren Till Touts Tom Aspinall As The Next British UFC Champion

UFC middleweight Darren Till believes compatriot and heavyweight contender Tom Aspinall has what it takes to become the next British champion in the promotion.

In just two years in the UFC, Aspinall has grown from debutant to headliner and established himself as one of the promotion’s top prospects. After signing off the back of three consecutive finishes, the English powerhouse has not slowed down since arriving on MMA’s biggest stage.

Following TKO wins against Jake Collier and Alan Baudot, and an impressive submission victory over former champion Andrei Arlovski, Aspinall climbed towards the edge of the divisional top 10 with a vicious stoppage against Sergey Spivak at UFC Vegas 36 last September.

Having extended his record to 11-2, his active win streak to seven, his unbeaten UFC record to 4-0, and maintained his 100% finishing rate, many are predicting big things in the sport for Aspinall. One of those holding the Manchester native in high regard is teammate Darren Till.

Having trained alongside Aspinall at Liverpool’s Team Kaobon gym for years, Till has had, and continues to have, a first-hand look at the heavyweight’s progress and development. According to “The Gorilla,” Aspinall is likely to join Michael Bisping in the limited club of British UFC champions.

“He’s so sharp mate. Honestly, it’s a beauty to watch,” Till told Bisping and Anthony Smith during an appearance on the Believe You Me podcast. “You come in in the mornings and he’s doing his routine pad work with coach Colin, and you see him sparring… Not to discredit any of these guys, but he’s just—I mean, me and Tom don’t really spar each other anymore; we just know each other to a T, but it’s just how fast and quick he is, and his thinking.

“Honestly, his striking, his whole game, but his striking is just impeccable, it really is; it’s a beauty to watch,” Till added. “I’m very confident that Tom is probably going to be the next British champion before anybody else. He’s just on a roll—his confidence, his humbleness.”

Till Expects Aspinall To Record A 1st-Round Finish At UFC London

Despite initially suggesting he’d prefer a slow and steady rise towards the top of the division, Aspinall’s next fight is an opportunity that was too good to turn down.

On March 19, Aspinall will mark his first Octagon outing in front of a full crowd when he headlines the UFC’s long-awaited return to London, England. In his way of another large step towards the elite at 265 pounds will be former Bellator champion and five-time UFC headliner Alexander Volkov.

Despite the step-up in competition facing his teammate next month, Till has no doubts about who will get their hand raised at the O2 Arena.

“Not to discredit Volkov, but I think he’s (Aspinall) gonna finish Volkov in the first round,” Till predicted. “From what I’m seeing, training-wise, he’s so motivated—he’s in every day, he’s training hard, he’s getting pushed by the right people, and I just want him to do well.”

With a victory over Volkov, Tom Aspinall will join the likes of Ciryl Gane, Stipe Miocic, Curtis Blaydes, Jon Jones, and Tai Tuivasa in the championship conversation. Should the Englishman notch a win against any of those names, a title shot would likely follow soon after.

Do you agree with Darren Till? Can Tom Aspinall become the UFC heavyweight champion?

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