Tom Aspinall Defends Interim HW Title Against Curtis Blaydes In UFC 304 Co-Main Event

UFC interim heavyweight champion Tom Aspinall will defend the belt for the first time against Curtis Blaydes at UFC 304 in Manchester, England on July 27th.

If you’ve got a sense of deja-vu about the match-up then there’s good reason for that as these two actually headlined UFC Fight Night 208 in London, England back in July of 2023.

However, fans didn’t get their money’s worth on that occasion as Aspinall suffered a freak knee injury just 15 seconds into the fight that left him unable to continue, resulting in Blaydes winning by TKO.

Of course few people would count that as a true loss for the 31-year-old Aspinall, who had been on a five-fight winning streak beforehand, and so after a year out recovering the British star was right back in the heavyweight mix and went on to TKO Marcin Tybura in just 73 seconds last July.

That set up an interim title showdown against Sergei Pavlovich at UFC 295 in November, and again Aspinall ran through his opponent, winning by knockout after only 69 seconds.

Aspinall had called for a title unification bout against the currently injured heavyweight champ Jon Jones after that, but with the UFC still determined to have ‘Bones’ face Stipe Miocic once he’s recovered, the Brit will now rematch the No.4 ranked Blaydes instead.

Since his injury TKO win over Aspinall in 2022 Blaydes has only fought twice, losing to Sergei Pavlovich in the first round by TKO in April of last year, before rebounding strongly by ending Jailton Almeida’s six-fight winning streak via an early second-round KO finish.

Aspinall vs. Blaydes will serve as the co-main event for a UFC 304 card that will be headlined by a welterweight title fight between Leon Edwards and Belal Muhammad.

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