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Tyson Fury has spent a lot of time recently in the company of UFC heavyweight champions.

‘The Gypsy King,’ who last month eked out a close split decision win against Francis Ngannou in what was the latter’s first-ever professional boxing match, has spent considerable time in the training room with Aspinall over the years. Aspinall noted the Furys’ influence over his career in his post-fight comments to media in New York late on Saturday night following his 69-second win against Sergei Pavlovich through which he claimed the interim UFC heavyweight title and, in theory at least, set up a future date with either Jon Jones or Stipe Miocic once they settle their differences next year.

And Aspinall’s achievement certainly didn’t go unnoticed in the seaside town of Morecambe in northwest England, where Fury was quick to offer his congratulations for being England’s latest heavyweight champion, and its first in a major mixed martial arts promotion.

“Just want to say a massive shoutout to my brother Tom Aspinall, the new UFC heavyweight champion of the world!” Fury said in a video message posted to social media. “God bless you Tom, all the best brother. It couldn’t have happened to a more lovely person. Congratulations to you and your family and I hope you have a fantastic, fantastic time.”

Fury had previously said on social media: “We’ve got some serious talent in England. Massive congratulations to Tom on his win. Another top-tier athlete in the making!”