Fast-rising heavyweight contender Tom Aspinall has been targeting a fight with Ciryl Gane, but if he can’t get ‘Bon Gamin’ to sign on the dotted line, the British striking standout is more than willing to turn his attention toward fellow knockout artist Sergei Pavlovich.
Gane re-established himself as a formidable foe at the top of the heavyweight rankings on Saturday night, securing an absolutely dominant win over Sergei Spivac in the UFC Paris main event. With Gane serving as something of a gatekeeper for the division following two failed attempts to reach the top of the mountain, multiple fighters have targeted the Frenchman, including Tom Aspinall.
A winner in six of his seven appearances under the UFC banner, Aspinall is on the cusp of title contention. He only needs one big win to get him there and Ciryl Gane is the perfect opponent to give him that opportunity. Unfortunately, he’s not so sure that Gane is keen on accepting a fight with him.
“I’m no bully,” Aspinall told TheMACLife. “If he doesn’t want the fight, I’m not going to try and force it on him. I wanted to go in the cage. The UFC didn’t want me to go in the cage. Yeah, if he wants the fight, it’s here. If he doesn’t want the fight, we’ll see. I know I’m a bad matchup for him. I think that stylistically it’s a good matchup for me, but if he doesn’t want it, then I understand.”
Tom Aspinall Ready to Fight Anyone That Gets Him a Title Opportunity
If the fight with Ciryl Gane doesn’t pan out, Tom Aspinall already has another name in mind.
“Well, that only leaves one guy left: the big Russian fella who nobody wants,” Aspinall said. “I’m happy to step up and take that. Like I’m more than happy to fight Sergei Pavlovich. I was supposed to fight two times before. The fights didn’t happen for whatever reason. Yeah, let’s do it. I’m happy to fight anyone that gets me close to the title” (h/t BJPenn.com).
Sergei Pavlovich had his own coming out party in April, scoring a vicious first-round knockout against Curtis Blaydes to claim the No. 1 spot in the heavyweight rankings. It was the Russian’s sixth-straight first-round finish, moving him to 6-1, the same record that Tom Aspinall currently carries inside the Octagon. Aspinall also has six finishes with the UFC, five of them coming in the first round.
On paper, both fights are incredibly intriguing and fans will undoubtedly be thrilled no matter which one the UFC opts to go with.
Who would you like to see Tom Aspinall step into the cage against in his highly anticipated return?