Although he’s impressed in his rise up the heavyweight rankings, Tom Aspinall insists he’s not in a hurry.
Aspinall (12-2 MMA, 5-0 UFC) picked up a marquee first-round submission win over Alexander Volkov in March in the UFC Fight Night 204 main event at The O2 in London, but isn’t necessarily targeting the champion just yet.
With UFC heavyweight champ Francis Ngannou expected to be sidelined for the rest of the year, an interim title could come in play. But Aspinall isn’t going to throw his name in that hat now.
“That’s not really something that I think about,” Aspinall told CBS Sports. “I’m not interested in that, really. I think there are other people that deserve it more, like Stipe (Miocic) or Jon Jones. There are definitely other people who deserve it more than me. I’ve only just broken into the top 10. I’m not looking at doing any of that stuff. Look at Ciryl Gane. He was this close to beating Ngannou. People like that guy deserve it way more than me.
“My time came basically because I couldn’t get any other fights in any other organizations. I would have loved more fights, the same as how I would have loved more fights before I fought someone like Volkov or someone like (Andrei) Arlovski or (Serghei) Spivak or all them kind of guys. I would have loved more experience before I fight them guys. I’m kind of a product of my own success, I guess. I’m struggling to get that experience against anybody else. To be honest, I was sure that someone like Volkov would give me them kind of rounds, but obviously that didn’t work out that way.”
Aspinall called out Tai Tuivasa following his win over Volkov, but Tuivasa recently told MMA Junkie he’s eyeing former champion Miocic next. However, Aspinall isn’t quite sure if Tuivasa will get his wish and would love to fight him in the U.K.
“I heard before that he was in talks with Stipe to get that match,” Aspinall said. “Then I heard from a couple of inside sources that fight is nowhere near close. The ball is in his court, but I want to fight in the U.K. Me and Tai in the U.K. would be unbelievable. I want to be the U.K. guy. I want to fight in the U.K. I don’t want to go on a card now and just be another guy on the card. Do you know what I mean? I want to be the U.K. darling. I want to be that guy.”[vertical-gallery id=2532899