Tom Aspinall has given his first reaction to the bombshell news that he’ll be fighting Sergei Pavlovich for the interim heavyweight belt in the co-main event of UFC 295 on November 11th after Jon Jones was forced out of his title fight against Stipe Miocic due to a shoulder injury.
“[A UFC official] called me and I was like, ‘what’s going on?'” Aspinall told The Mac Life. “He called and said, ‘are you healthy?’ That’s the first thing he asked. He was like, ‘are you healthy?’ I’m like, ‘yeah, I’m healthy. Why? What’s going on?’ He said, ‘listen. There’s some crazy sh*t going on with this New York card. Are you ready to fight in like two weeks,’ and I said, ‘I can be. If you want me to be ready I’ll be ready in two weeks.’ He said, ‘well, I’ll just have to let you know tomorrow.’ So, obviously I was waiting.”
Clearly having only two weeks to prepare for the biggest fight of his life is hardly ideal, but the 30-year-old Aspinall says he feels ready for the challenge facing him at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
“I’ve been at the gym. I’m a dedicated guy. I’m in the gym anyway. I would have liked longer than two weeks but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. I’ll be ready. No excuse there. I’ll be ready to go, and I’m coming to win. I’m not coming to make excuses. The narrative of this fight isn’t going to be I’ve taken the fight on two weeks notice. I’m f**king coming to win.”
Aspinall acknowledges that the current No.2 ranked Pavlovich is a very daunting opponent, but he’s still confident he can emerge victorious and fulfill his dream of winning a belt in the process.
“Pavlovich is the most dangerous to be honest,” Aspinall said. “He’s the most dangerous guy in the UFC. To be honest, it’s f**king the most dangerous situation to have, fighting the most dangerous guy in the UFC on two weeks notice, but I’m willing to put it all on the line. This is my absolute dream. I’m doing a Bisping aren’t I? Bisping took it on two weeks notice. Bisping did it on two weeks notice and beat Rockhold, so why can’t I do it?”