Tom Aspinall backs ‘scary fight’ with Curtis Blaydes to push him to another level as British heavyweight star admits UFC London clash is his ‘toughest match-up in the division’
- Tom Aspinall beat Alexander Volkov in the main event of UFC London in March
- Heavyweight is rising star and faces another huge challenge on home turf
- He will face Curtis Blaydes and thinks it is ‘toughest fight in the division’ for him
- ‘That pushes me to levels I’ve never been before, and that’s what I need’, he said
Tom Aspinall believes Curtis Blaydes will present the kind of scary challenge that transforms him into a lethal competitor.
The British rising star thinks his UFC London opponent offers his toughest test in terms of style, but backs that fear inside to draw the best out of him.
Blaydes is one of the division’s best wrestlers and poses a different kind of threat to Aspinall, who will headline on home soil on July 23.
Tom Aspinall will fight Curtis Blaydes in a huge heavyweight match-up this July
Blaydes (right) is a legitimate contender and will provide a tough test for Aspinall
The 29-year-old Brit told the MMA Hour: ‘If they’re coming back to the UK obviously I’m not going to miss that opportunity.
‘That night in March, that was something special and if we have the opportunity to do anything even close to that again, I want to be a part of it. Why would I not? Why would I not want to be a part of something like that?
‘I’m not going to pass that opportunity up, so we got it again. We’re going again. July 23, Aspinall vs. Blaydes, in the big smoke, in the O2 Arena, London, England, what more could you want?
He is full of respect for Blaydes and the skills the 31-year-old possesses, adding: ‘Curtis Blaydes is probably the toughest fight in the division for me stylistically.
‘But I’m okay with that because that pushes me to a whole new level. That pushes me to levels I’ve never been before, and that’s what I need. If I’m with someone that’s going to make me comfortable, I’m going to stay exactly where I am and do the exact same work that I’ve been doing.
‘If you’re going to give me someone that I think is a scary fight and you’re going to give me fear, you don’t want to see me scared, because I end up doing stuff like I did in the O2 the time I fought.
Aspinall dominated Alexander Volkov in the main event of UFC London in March
‘I end up doing some crazy stuff that I’ve never done before. So me with a massive fight with a really tough guy, that’s dangerous. That’s dangerous for any heavyweight.’
With Francis Ngannou’s contract situation still up in the air while he recovers from knee surgery, the heavyweight division is in limbo.
Jon Jones is expected to take on Stipe Miocic later this year while Tai Tuivasa and Ciryl Gane are also set to lock horns.
Aspinall has been tipped by many as the future heavyweight champion of the UFC
The winner of Blaydes vs Aspinall could well fight for an interim belt next but the Team Kaobon fighter is in no rush.
He said: ‘I’m not even interested in it. I’m not. I never thought that I was going to be talking about a title after five UFC fights, six UFC fights.
‘I feel like I’ve got more work to do. I’ve got a lot more work to do, more proving. I don’t want to be one of these people who gets here by talking. That is not me.’
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