Tom Aspinall: ‘I’m fighting the scariest guy in MMA’

Tom Aspinall: ‘I’m fighting the scariest guy in MMA’

Aspinall fights Sergei Pavlovich for interim heavyweight gold in the Big Apple this weekend

By John Balfe - 9 Nov 2023

Tom Aspinall is well aware of the scale of the task awaiting him in Madison Square Garden this Saturday night. 

The Briton, notoriously unwilling to see the second round of a mixed martial arts contest, takes on Sergei Pavlovich in the UFC’s latest trip to the Big Apple. The powerful Russian is second-only to Aspinall for having the record for the shortest fights in the organisation, and has displayed tremendously powerful striking in his ongoing six fight win streak.

And speaking to the media on Wednesday in New York, including The Mac Life, Aspinall made clear that he is more than aware of the dangers his opponent can pose when the cage door shuts.

“I’m fighting the scariest guy in MMA in my opinion, in the worst circumstances possible without a training camp,” Aspinall said, reflecting on taking the interim heavyweight title fight on a little over two weeks’ notice.

“I obviously think I can win. I’m not the kind of guy who shows up for money. I ain’t signing a contract and showing up if I don’t think I can win. I truly, truly believe that I’m going to win on Saturday night. I’m an absolute winner, and I’m going to find a way to win regardless of the circumstances.”

But despite the short lead-in, Aspinall says that he sees this as an ideal opportunity to make the biggest statement yet of his career — and fulfil a lifelong dream in the process.

“I think it’s heavyweight MMA,” he said. “You’ve got to see what happens. He’s a very, very dangerous guy. As am I. I’m just focused on going out there and enjoying it. The is my absolute dream come true: Madison Square Garden, Pavlovich.”

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