UFC heavyweight contender Tom Aspinall doesn’t have ambitions to be a top-level UFC promoter like Chael Sonnen.
Aspinall is set to face Curtis Blaydes in a potential No. 1 contender fight on July 23. He’s won eight in a row, including most recently over heavyweights such as Alexander Volkov and Sergey Spivak.
While Aspinall is arguably one of the most impressive heavyweights in the UFC, he’s not known to push the envelope on the mic. He’s usually complimentary of his opponents, which Sonnen feels is a detriment.
During a recent segment on his YouTube channel, Sonnen criticized Aspinall for not promoting himself out of the cage.
“He comes out and does an interview — I can’t remember what was said, I was disgusted, I ended up shutting the page — talking about, ‘Who wouldn’t want to see Ngannou box? Ngannou’s just a great boxer,’” Sonnen said of Aspinall. “He went on from there, put some other people over. He’s a legitimate fan. I do understand that in all fairness and he does come off as a very sweet guy, that is true. Tom actually is coming off like a really nice guy, I must tell the other side of the coin.
“I can’t put him back in a main event. I can’t put him in a title shot. I can’t put him in anything that he says he doesn’t belong in. Nobody can.” (h/t MMA Fighting)
Sonnen, a well-known WWE fan, used a WWE style to become one of the most talked-about fighters in the UFC during his career. He had his way when it came to mental warfare leading up to fights against Anderson Silva, Wanderlei Silva, and others.
After getting word of Sonnen’s comments, Aspinall hit back in a post on his Instagram story.
“I’m more than happy being myself thanks and not selling myself out and acting like a [clown] for views and money,” Aspinall replied. “I am not a WWE entertainer I’m one of the greatest heavyweights to walk on this [Earth] and it will be shown in my body of work from my UFC debut until I retire in 10 years. I don’t need to talk shit. Happy to be myself.”
Aspinall, unlike some of his UK colleagues such as Paddy Pimblett and former middleweight champion Michael Bisping, isn’t interested in becoming a potential heel in the fight game. He’s looking to continue his path towards a heavyweight title and a win over Blaydes will put him in a great position for a shot at the belt.
What are your thoughts on Chael Sonnen’s criticism of Tom Aspinall’s self-promotional skills?