Tom Aspinall would have his hands full with a complete training camp.
But now the heavyweight Brit will have to face the heavy-handed Sergei Pavlovich, currently ranked No. 2 at 265 pounds, with just a few weeks’ notice, thanks to a training camp injury that booted division champion, Jon Jones, from the UFC 295 lineup.
Tom Aspinall will battle Sergei Pavlovich for the interim strap on Nov. 11 in New York.
“I’m fighting the scariest guy in MMA in my opinion, in the worst circumstances possible without a training camp,” Aspinall told reporters during the UFC 295 media day. “I obviously think I can win. I’m not the kind of guy who shows up for money. I ain’t signing a contract and showing up if I don’t think I can win. I truly, truly believe that I’m going to win on Saturday night. I’m an absolute winner, and I’m going to find a way to win regardless of the circumstances.”
The good news for Tom Aspinall is that Sergei Pavlovich is also fighting on short notice.
“I think it’s heavyweight MMA,” Aspinall continued. “You’ve got to see what happens. He’s a very, very dangerous guy. As am I. I’m just focused on going out there and enjoying it. The is my absolute dream come true: Madison Square Garden, Pavlovich. Jon Jones is obviously one of the best to ever do it. I’ve got a lot of respect for him and hopefully we’ll get to share the cage one day.”
A victory for the 30 year-old Aspinall (13-3) would put him in line to face the winner of Jones vs. Stipe Miocic, who are expected to clash once “Bones” returns to action in mid-2024.
The only downside is the timeline, which could keep Tom Aspinall on the bench for more than a year.
Assuming Jones comes back at all.
TWO TITLES UP FOR GRABS! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) makes its highly anticipated return to Madison Square Garden in New York City on Sat., Nov. 11, 2023, with a re-worked pay-per-view (PPV) main card. In the ESPN+-streamed main event, former 205-pound roost-ruler, Jiri Prochazka, will lock horns with ex-Middleweight kingpin, Alex Pereira, for the promotion’s vacant Light Heavyweight title. In UFC 295’s co-main event, top-ranked Heavyweight contenders, Sergei Pavlovich (No. 2) and Tom Aspinall (No. 4), will collide for the interim strap after division champion, Jon Jones, was injured with a torn pectoral muscle and forced to withdraw