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Tom Aspinall expects to be back in the cage sooner rather than later.

The UFC’s interim heavyweight champion has so far been disappointed in his pursuit of heavyweight champ Jon Jones, with Dana White suggesting that the Englishman’s services may well be required for a PPV event scheduled for England that is expected to be announced in the coming days.

But if his next opponent isn’t to be the division’s true champ in Jones, Aspinall says that rolling it back against Curtis Blaydes would be an acceptable substitute.

“Jon Jones and Stipe are tied up with each other, and they’re not going to budge on that,” Aspinall said to OLBG, as noted by MMA Fighting.

“Right now, it’s in the UFC’s hands, and I’ve never been picky about my opponents. I’ve only ever told them fights I want. I’ve never told them fights that I don’t want. Blaydes has said he wants to fight me, and I’ve said, ‘Okay, cool, let’s do it.’ That’s it.”

American fighter Curtis Blaydes (18-4) was Aspinall’s foil when the he suffered a severe knee injury in the opening seconds of a July 2022 main event fight in London, and recently underscored his credentials towards the summit of the division by becoming the first fighter in the weight category to score a win over the Brazilian fighter Jailton Almeida.

“I’m just waiting at the minute,” Aspinall explained. “I’m just waiting for the call. I’m in the gym twice a day, and I’m en route to training as we speak. I’m ready to go whenever.

However, Aspinall was keen to note that his openness to a bout with Blaydes doesn’t come from a position of personal animosity.

I like Curtis Blaydes, but professionally, I want to beat him because he’s got a win over me when I got injured,” Aspinall said. “I don’t know if the right word is ‘personal,’ but it is personal. But not in the way that I don’t like him as a person. It’s personal in a professional kind of way. I want to get that one back.”