For the second time in 2022, Manchester’s Aspinall made the walk inside The O2 for a UK UFC headliner. But while the first ended in the opening round with his hand raised following a memorable submission win against Alexander Volkov, this past weekend’s occasion was to end less successfully.
The fight lasted just 15 seconds, with a leg kick signaling the final piece of what was an incredibly short-lived main event. After landing to Blaydes’ knee with the strike, Aspinall crumpled to the floor clutching his own knee following what looked to be an awkward landing. Referee Herb Dean immediately waved the fight off, leading to an injury-caused TKO victory for “Razor.”
While the fight barely got going, with the pair exchanging only a few times before what appeared to be some serious damage to Aspinall’s knee caused an anticlimactic end to proceedings, Blaydes seemingly got enough of a look to feel confident in his ability to beat Aspinall convincingly.
Blaydes: Aspinall Isn’t As Big & Fast As People Say
During his appearance at the UFC London post-fight press conference, Blaydes, who admitted that the injury was an unfortunate way to win, assessed the ultimately small insight he got into the game of Aspinall.
The Englishman quickly rose to #6 in the heavyweight rankings through five straight wins inside the Octagon. But despite many touting Aspinall as a future champion, “Razor” Blaydes wasn’t particularly impressed.
He told reporters that the Salford native wasn’t as fast, big or as athletic as he’s been made out to be. With that in mind, the few exchanges prior to the injury were enough to convince the American that he could “stand and bang” with Aspinall.
“Yeah, I wanted to (stand and bang). Everyone was hyping up his speed. He’s not as fast as you guys make him seem to be,” Blaydes said. “I know it was only 15 seconds, but every exchange, he got touched. A lot of his highlights, when he’s sparking these guys, it’s ’cause they’re stagnant. They don’t move their feet, which is what I do.
“So, I just don’t believe the hype. I don’t think he’s as fast as everyone thought he was. Obviously, also, he’s not as big as everyone made him about to be. I felt like I was bigger, more athletic, more explosive,” Blaydes added. “Obviously, I think my bones are stronger.”
In a great scene post-fight, the injured Aspinall and Blaydes shared a beer together at the fighter hotel. Although, perhaps that was without Aspinall having knowledge of his opponent branding the freak injury as a result of having ‘weaker’ bones.
What do you make of Curtis Blaydes’ comments about Tom Aspinall as an opponent?