The mixed martial arts world is still reflecting on the events that unfolded at UFC 295 this past weekend, and among the most prominent results was the title triumph of Britain’s Tom Aspinall.
After receiving an opportunity at the newly created interim heavyweight title after an injury to champion Jon Jones saw his planned defense against Stipe Miocic canceled, Aspinall more than made the most of the short-notice call-up.
Against knockout artist Sergei Pavlovich, many predicted that Aspinall would have to escape the first round in order to have his hand raised. But flipping the script on the Russian, who had previously ended six straight bouts in the opening frame, the Manchester native knocked him out in less than 90 seconds.
In the immediate aftermath, emotion overwhelmed Aspinall, who stated that he’d achieved his lifelong dream of championship success on MMA’s biggest stage.
But one man familiar with reaching the top in the UFC has told Aspinall to hold his horses…
Cejudo Expresses Concern Over Aspinall’s ‘Mentality’
During a video recently uploaded to his YouTube channel, former flyweight and bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo further reflected on the heavyweight title fight that went down at Madison Square Garden and looked ahead to a potential unification showdown.
While assessing Aspinall’s chances against reigning champ Jones, “Triple C” questioned whether the Brit will have the same hunger to dethrone “Bones” given his reaction to Saturday’s interim title win.
“Watching Tom Aspinall win the interim world title, he’s already celebrating. It’s an interim, Tom!” Cejudo said. “Save those tears for when you actually win the real belt. Sometimes, when I see people like that, they just get too emotional after an interim belt. Yeah, you got a trophy, but they might as well dip that thing in either silver or bronze because it’s not the real thing.
“As a competitor, I start to think about their mentalities,” Cejudo continued. “How is it or what is it that makes them — has he thought that he’s reached the pinnacle of the world? I'[m not picking on you, Tom. I’m just saying to you, save those tears for when you actually own the undisputed title.”
Aspinall will hope to prove that his focus remains on top spot next year, especially should his desired dream clash with Jones come to fruition.
But many are theorizing that the Englishman will likely become the undisputed heavyweight kingpin following the expected Jones vs. Miocic rebooking, with most expecting both men to call time on their careers after.
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