Pic credit – AfonsoMuzzi1998
Tom Aspinall has become the third British UFC champion and the only British heavyweight champion after knocking out Sergei Pavlovich in just 70 seconds at UFC 295.
An interim bout between Aspinall and Pavlovich was put together after current champ Jon Jones tore his pec tendon off the bone in the lead up to his bout with Stipe Miocic.
Aspinall came into the fight ranked number two after two finishes against Martin Tybura and Alexander Volkov.
Before the clash, Pavolvich had earned six straight first round knockouts labelling him as the contender no-one wants to risk fighting in this heavyweight division.
Whilst, Aspinall admitted that he was intimidated by the Russian: “Sergei is a big scary guy, I’ve never been so scared”.
The fight was very short-lived as Pavlovich landed a heavy left hook that Brit absorbed. The 30-year-old began landing heavy calf kicks as the speed difference was made apparent. 60 seconds into the fight, the Salford man landed a lightning one-two combination stunning Pavlovich before landing another big right hand to end the fight early.
After the bout, the Englishman paid tribute to his father Andy Aspinall who has been his head coach since he was 8-years-old. He decided to hand the belt to his dad in the post fight interview.
The emotional winner said: “This man right here, my father – he’s worked harder than anyone. So this belt right here is dedicated to my father”
The question that remains is what’s next for the Brit? How will an interim champ and the Jones injury impact the division as a whole?
According to the standard protocol, an all champion fight should be arranged to unify the division if an interim champ is crowned. That could see a potential bout between Aspinall and Jones.
Jones himself took to twitter to praise Aspinall’s performance.
Another option however is the original contender , 41-year-old Stipe Miocic who pulled out after the Jones’s injury. With Jones, 36, potentially looking at a six-month layoff, an interim fight to determine a challenger for Jones would make a lot of sense.
However UFC president Dana White appears to have put a pin in both fights claiming Jones and Miocic is still the fight to make.
This has left some fans worried that they may never get to see Aspinall fight either legends Miocic or Jones, as both men are being rumoured to have one big fight left in them.