Tyson Fury is set to fight Francis Ngannou on Oct. 28, 2023, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It’s a massive crossover fight, but few are giving Ngannou much of a chance against WBC’s Heavyweight champion.
That doesn’t mean Fury won’t take the bout seriously.
According to Fury’s former sparring partner and UFC Heavyweight contender, Tom Aspinall, “The Gypsy King” has reached out to him about training together for the “MMA vs. Boxing” match.
“I spoke to him, he called me the other day and asked if I’ll help him with training and stuff,” Aspinall revealed during a UFC London media day (watch it here). “We’ll see how it goes, we’ll see how it all goes. I’ve got a busy schedule myself so we’ll be in touch again after my fight’s over with.”
Aspinall is returning from a bad knee injury to take on Marcin Tybura on Saturday night (July 22, 2023) inside O2 Arena in London, England. The British Heavyweight is 5-1 in UFC and hoping a win over Tybura gets him back in the conversation for a title shot. With current UFC Heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, facing Stipe Miocic at UFC 295 on Nov. 11, 2023 (details here), a No. 1 contender’s performance could give Aspinall the time to help Fury.
“I think Ngannou’s got a puncher’s chance,” Aspinall said regarding the Fury vs. Ngannou match. “But, it’s a very very very very small puncher’s chance, a very slim chance. As someone who’s sparred Tyson a lot and seen Tyson up close sparring a lot, I think that someone with the inexperience of someone like Francis Ngannou, it’s gonna be really tough.
“Obviously, he punches like an absolute truck and if you put Francis Ngannou in there with anybody and let him punch them, he’s got a chance against anybody,” he continued. “But Tyson Fury is a master at what he does and it’s gonna be a tough night for Ngannou, I think.”
As for Aspinall’s MMA career, he says the loss to Curtis Blaydes via knee injury back in July 2022 gave him the opportunity he needed to re-organize his life into one devoted to becoming a world champion.
“It gave me a lot of time to get everything right in my life,” he said. “I think I’m kind of a superstitious guy, if everything’s going well I don’t really want to change stuff, even if it’s wrong. I don’t know if that makes any kind of sense, but it made sense to me before. But, I feel like I’ve changed a lot inside and outside of the gym, inside and outside of fighting.
“I think that this time has given me loads of chances to work with loads of good heavyweights in training, make sure my body’s looked after and good, make sure I’m well rested and in a good place mentally. I could sit up here and talk all day about how good I am, but ultimately I’ll have to show it on Saturday and that’s what I intend on doing.”
UFC London goes down this weekend (Sat., July 22, 2023) in London, England. Also on the card (see it here): Molly McCann taking on Julija Stoliarenko, Nathaniel Wood vs. Andre Fili and Paul Craig vs. Andre Muniz.
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.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC London news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.