Tom Aspinall Doesn’t See Upside In Fighting ‘Toughest Match-up’ Curtis Blaydes

UFC interim heavyweight champion Tom Aspinall will defend his belt against Curtis Blaydes in the co-main event of UFC 304 in Manchester, England on July 27th and the UK star has admitted that he sees the match-up as a ‘lose-lose’ scenario for him.

Essentially Aspinall concern is his belief that not only is Blaydes the toughest match-up for him in the division, but at the same he may have the least star power out of the current leading contenders.

“I’ve said this all along,” Aspinall told The Mac Life this week. “I’ve said this before we last fought, which is over two years ago now: I believe that Curtis is the toughest matchup in the division for me stylistically. This is no disrespect to Curtis — it’s a bit of a lose-lose fight in the fact that he’s not that popular, is what I’m saying. He’s not that popular.

“The guys that you want to fight are the guys who stylistically you match up well with, and they’re really popular. They’re the guys you want to fight, and Curtis is kind of the opposite of that. I’m not saying anything bad about Curtis or anything, but he’s not the most popular guy ever, and he’s really good. I’m looking forward to it, though. None of that really makes a difference to me. I am preparing now 100 percent for Curtis.”

What Aspinall really wanted was a fight against current champion Jon Jones, but with both ‘Bones’ and the UFC apparently dead-set on him fighting Stipe Miocic he’s taken his focus away from that dream match-up for the time being.

“I honestly think Jon Jones is a legend and I respect what he’s done in the octagon,” Aspinall said. “Right now, he’s quite irrelevant to what I’m doing. I’m fighting Curtis Blaydes.

“I have nothing against Jon regardless of what he says. It’s all bollocks, but I’m 100 percent invested in beating Curtis and that’s it.”

That being said, Aspinall did hear of Jones recent prediction that Blaydes has a good chance of beating him, and he admits that is certainly a possibility.

“He might [beat me] — it’s heavyweight MMA at the top level,” Aspinall acknowledged. “Someone always might win, and I believe in myself. Yeah, I think I’m good. I think I’m the best in the world. But does that make me invincible? No. Absolutely not. It’s heavyweight MMA. One shot off Curtis and the ref might be waking me up. That’s how it works. This is heavyweight MMA at the peak of the mountain. Of course, there’s a chance I can get knocked out. I’m fully aware of that. But I’m putting it all on the line, and quite frankly, [Jones] isn’t.”

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.