Tom Aspinall reveals he ‘pulled his back’ just 10 days before UFC 295 KO win over Sergei Pavlovich, with British star unable to train having accepted short-notice fight
- Tom Aspinall defeated Sergei Pavlovich in the co-main event of UFC 295
- He was injured in the build-up but still decided to compete with Russian
- Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk fight details out THIS WEEK: Listen to The Hook
Tom Aspinall’s astonishing win over Sergei Pavlovich came after he ‘pulled his back’ just days before the UFC 295 showdown.
The British star, who became the third UFC champion from his homeland by knocking out the Russian in New York, revealed details of the injury after his triumph.
He told Laura Sanko: ‘I actually pulled my back and didn’t really train at all,’ he explained.
‘I injured it the first week after I found out about the fight. I’ve not been able to train for the last week and a half.
‘I pulled my back, had about five days training, didn’t have a visa, was unsure if I could get here, it was just wild, the wildest two weeks ever, everything was just going wrong.
Tom Aspinall knocked out Sergei Pavlovich in the co-main event of UFC 295
Pavlovich was put unconscious in the first round of the heavyweight fight
‘I’ll always bet on myself, I was never going to win this fight by watching it on TV.’
The revelation makes his victory all the more impressive, finishing the man who had himself dispatched his last six opponents in the first round.
And he admitted to feeling acute nerves beforehand, telling TNT Sport: ‘There were loads of doubts, absolutely loads, like I said, I’ve never been as scared in my life.
‘I was sat in the changing room thinking, “I’m not sure this was the best idea”‘. It has all paid off now. I have achieved my career goal now. I wanted to be UFC heavyweight champion. I have achieved that.
‘Anything moving forward is just a bonus to be honest with you, I’m really satisfied now with what I’ve achieved in the sport and now it’s just about legacy. I want to be the best heavyweight ever now.
‘Both of the champions weren’t available so I think I’m the real champion. I want to fight on UFC 300, that’s my goal now.’
He then joked: ‘I think I’m just going to holiday until the New Year now, come back 150kg, fat as hell. Afterwards I told Sergei, “thank you and I’m sorry, I love you, this is just a sport not personal”.’
Aspinall revealed he had suffered an injury to his back in the 10 days before the fight
It remains to be seen who Aspinall would fight on the UFC 300 card, given Miocic is unlikely to face anyone other than Jones.
‘Bones’ himself might not be in action for up to a year as he recovers from a torn pectoral tendom.
But one thing is clear, Aspinall has hit the big time and arrived as a substantial new jewel in the UFC’s crown.
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