Former UFC star Chael Sonnen is not a fan of heavyweight contender Tom Aspinall’s humble nature in interviews and media appearances.
Aspinall has been on fire since arriving in the Octagon two years ago. In just five outings, the former Cage Warriors fighter has risen towards the top of the weight class with a perfect promotional record, which includes victories over former champion Andrei Arlovski and then-ranked heavyweight Sergey Spivak, as well as a triumphant main event debut on home soil versus Alexander Volkov.
With those wins and a place at #6 on the ladder, most would expect the Englishman to be making some noise when it comes to title contention or, with the current scenario in the division, the interim championship picture.
In Aspinall’s case, it’s quite the opposite. Having previously maintained a desire to rise the ranks slowly prior to UFC London earlier this year, the Manchester native has kept hold of that mindset as he closes in on the top five, even suggesting that he doesn’t yet deserve a shot at gold.
For Chael Sonnen, that approach is crazy.
In a video uploaded to his YouTube channel, Sonnen discussed the young heavyweight’s recent comments, suggesting a level of humility like that has no place in interviews, especially for a fighter at the top of the sport.
“Aspinall does interviews like a 13-year-old fan,” said Sonnen. “Aspinall cuts an interview that he should not receive a title shot. Somebody else should, he’s not ready for it. All right, we got a young guy who wants to show a sense of humility, who never should have done an interview that said that. But everybody’s gotta have a mistake before they can make a correction.”
Having successfully headlined UFC London in March this year, Aspinall is set to return to The O2 on July 23 for the second edition of the promotion’s 2022 exploits in England’s capital. In the main event, the 29-year-old will share the Octagon with top contender Curtis Blaydes, with the victor potentially in line for a shot at gold soon enough.
But Sonnen is seemingly not looking forward to Aspinall’s pre and post-fight media obligations, even going as far as to say he’d do the interviews for the Englishman if he had the free time.
“If I had time and he hadn’t pissed me off so bad, I would offer, ‘Don’t ever say anything else, every interview and press conference that you go to, I will show up with a bullhorn and make a whole big scene of it. You stand there and don’t say anything, I will have you fighting for the belt within 12 months.’ That’s the plan anyway, that you’re getting in the way of!” (h/t Sportskeeda MMA)
Perhaps with a victory over another established name like Blaydes, especially given the American’s place in the division and win against Chris Daukaus earlier this year, will bring out a more ruthless and demanding iteration of Aspinall.
For Sonnen’s sanity and blood pressure, we sure hope so…
Do you agree with Chael Sonnen’s take on Tom Aspinall’s approach?