Tom Aspinall will look to cement his place atop the heavyweight division later today (Sat., July 23, 2022) at UFC London live on ESPN+ from inside O2 Arena in London, England, when he takes on perennial contender, Curtis Blaydes, in the main event.
Aspinall, who is 5-0 with five finishes under the UFC banner, is coming off a main event submission win over Alexander Volkov at UFC London last March. It was the first time Aspinall ever headlined a UFC event and the first time he’s competed in front of his home crowd since entering the promotion back in 2020. The fact that the promotion entrusted Aspinall to headline its return to the United Kingdom speaks volumes of where it thinks he can take the heavyweight division.
The main event nod means a lot to Aspinall as the young heavyweight gears up for his push toward a title shot. Aspinall is looking forward to competing in front of a wild London crowd and believes Saturday’s event will truly be special.
“It means a lot, and I think a big part of why we’re back here is because of me,” Aspinall told reporters during a pre-fight media scrum. “I’m not trying to sound mad egotistical, but I think that without me pulling him to the side — it wasn’t like I was asking him a question. I wasn’t like, ‘Oh Dana, can we please come back?’ I was like, ‘Dana, we’re coming back here this year. Let’s make it happen.’ And he agreed with it. He couldn’t really say no because it was an unbelievable night in March and there’s going to be another unbelievable night this Saturday.
“It’s a special place to fight and we’ve got special fighters on the card, so it can’t possibly be boring. It’s going to be absolutely wild.”
Unfortunately for Aspinall, Saturday’s main event will be no walk in the park. Blaydes is the best takedown artist in the history of UFC’s heavyweight division and a fighter who has shown considerable maturation with his striking. “Razor” will provide a laundry list of problems for Aspinall when the cage door shuts on Saturday, but Aspinall believes he’ll have a significant advantage from the fans in attendance.
“You can’t buy experience, and I’ve been here before,” Aspinall said. “I think that everybody who’s on this card, whether you’re a home fighter or away fighter, you need to take into account that the English fans are different. The U.K. fans are different to any other fans in the world. They’re absolutely wild, and the atmosphere in there, it can either make you or break you, and I think you’ve got to be prepared.”
What say you, Maniacs? Will Aspinall harness the U.K. crowd to defeat Blaydes at UFC London and push himself closer towards a heavyweight title shot?
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC London fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (also on ESPN+) at 3 p.m. ET.
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