Tom Aspinall Says He’s Failed To Convince Officials To Change UFC 304 Start Time

UFC interim-heavyweight champion Tom Aspinall has revealed his attempts to get officials to change the extremely late start time of UFC 304 in Manchester, England have failed.

Due to the UFC’s decision to maintain their usual 10pm ET start time for the pay-per-view portion of UFC 304 it means that the main card won’t get underway until 3am in England, and according to Aspinall there’s no chance of that changing.

“No apologies,” Aspinall told Submission Radio about the response from UFC officials. “I don’t expect an apology either, this is the UFC we’re dealing with. I just kind of put the feelers out there a little bit, to see like, this is a bit of a shitter for me and the other fighters and the U.K. fans who want to come watch it live.

“The thing is, I’ve got all kinds of friends coming. I was with my friend today and he was saying, he’s got child care for the night, but obviously the show is going to finish at 6 a.m. So he’s essentially going to have to stay up all night and then he’s only got childcare until, like, 9 a.m., so he’s going to get literally an hour or two of sleep in there. Just stuff like that.

“I was putting the feelers out, ‘Listen, is there any chance we can switch that?’ And they were just like, ‘Nope. Absolutely not.’ … There was no play on that at all. Just straight-up, no, that was it.”

Along with his concern for fans planning to attend the event, Aspinall admits it also it awkward in terms of his own flight preparations knowing that he might not step into the Octagon until after 4am in the morning.

“In all honesty, I have no idea right now,” Aspinall said of his plans to deal with that. “I’m a bit lost at the thought of it. My original thought was I’m going to go to Vegas, I’m going to train in Vegas, and I’m going to get on Vegas time and I’m going to stick with that. Then I was, like, shit, Vegas is like 18 hours away. For me to be on Vegas time and then five, six days before the fight come back to Manchester and travel 18 hours, that’s exhausting just within itself whether you’re on a time difference or not. So I pushed that to the side.

“I f*cking—I don’t know. I have no idea. I don’t know what I’m doing at this point. I’m going to speak to a couple of people probably who are a lot smarter than I am and see if I can have some kind of compromise. I was thinking something like maybe I try and sleep at 9 p.m., wake up about 1, 2, just be awake for a couple of hours and then maybe work out at 5. Maybe go back to sleep for a couple of hours at 7, 8, I don’t really know.”

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