Thursday, May 26, 2022

Aspinall Targets “UK Darling” Status After First Home-Crowd Experience

Now that UFC heavyweight Tom Aspinall has got a taste of fighting in front of a home crowd, he knows where he wants to compete moving forward.

At UFC London, Aspinall ticked off a number of things. First main event on MMA’s biggest stage? Check. First UFC outing in front of an arena crowd? Check. First top-10 opponent added to his record? Check. A place in the title conversation? Check.

The man who fell in order for those things to happen was Alexander Volkov. Making his sixth headline appearance in the UFC, the Russian was looking to maintain his place on the heavyweight ladder by halting the surging of England’s Aspinall.

He failed to do so in the second round after getting caught in a brutal straight armbar. The response inside London’s O2 Arena was raucous, and the celebrations outside were just as electric.

As for his next step, Aspinall has made it clear what he wants: a scrap and a shoey with the UFC’s chief entertainer, Tai Tuivasa. Where does he want that to take place, you might ask? Well, there’s only one place, isn’t there?

Aspinall: “I Want To Be The UK Guy”

During a recent interview with CBS Sports’ Shakiel Mahjouri, Aspinall, who now boasts a perfect 5-0 promotional record and sits at #6 in the UFC’s heavyweight rankings, was asked if he’d be willing to fight “Bam Bam” outside of the UK.

While his response wasn’t exactly a no, the Manchester native’s intentions moving forward are certainly clear.

“I want to be the UK guy. I want to fight in the UK,” asserted Aspinall. “I don’t want to go on a card now and just be another guy on the card, you know what I mean? I want to be the UK darling. I want to be that guy.”

After the success of UFC London, an event that marked the promotion’s first trip across the Atlantic since 2019, Dana White made it clear the region’s fans will see another event there before the end of 2022. With that in mind, Aspinall may very well get his wish.

And with the Englishman’s inside sources suggesting any negotiations for a fight between Tuivasa and Stipe Miocic are not even close to coming to a successful conclusion, perhaps the Aussie will be standing opposite Aspinall in the UFC”s next visit to the UK.

Would you like to see Tom Aspinall and Tai Tuivasa collide in the UK later this year?

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