At UFC 295, two of the fastest-rising and hardest-hitting heavyweights currently competing on mixed martial arts’ biggest stage will get their first shots at championship glory.
The November 11 main event was originally scheduled to see Jon Jones attempt the first defense of the title he won this past March against the returning Stipe Miocic. Earlier this week, however, disaster struck in training when the champ tore a pectoral tendon.
Updated poster for UFC 295
With “Bones” requiring surgery and eight to nine months on the sidelines according to UFC CEO Dana White, an interim belt has been created. Fighting for it within the prestigious surroundings of Madison Square Garden will be Sergei Pavlovich and Tom Aspinall.
For many, the Russian contender was already the most deserving heavyweight when it came to the next title fight, having recorded six first-round knockouts on the bounce.
With one more violent finish set to see gold around the waist of Pavlovich, Aspinall will need to stifle his opponent’s brutal punching power come fight night in New York City.
Fortunately, the British fighter believes he has just the advantage to do it with.
Aspinall Plans To ‘Outsmart’ Pavlovich
During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Aspinall reacted to his upcoming short-notice shot at glory and assessed the man from whom he’s set to stand across.
Having previously been booked to share the cage with Pavlovich on two separate occasions and witnessed the path of destruction he’s left en route to the top since, Aspinall is well aware of the task in front of him.
But believing his “fight IQ” can carry him to a victory over anyone in the division, the Manchester native is planning on winning the battle of brains at UFC 295.
“I think it’s gonna be a tough fight for both of us,” Aspinall said. “You’ve gotta remember, me and Pavlovich, I’ve got the shortest fight time average in the UFC and he has the second shortest… We’re both very explosive finishers, both of us. I think I have more finishes in more positions. He obviously has a lot of power in his hands.
“But it’s gonna be a finish. I think I’m a lot smarter. I think my fight IQ is a lot better than a lot of the guys he’s already fought. I’m not gonna stand in front of him and have a trade-off, because it’s basically suicide if you do that with him,” Aspinall continued. “I’m gonna use my brain to win the fight and I’m gonna outsmart him.”
Short-notice title opportunities are certainly the talk of the town recently, with featherweight kingpin Alexander Volkanovski receiving the call on a similar timeline for UFC 294 last weekend.
While “Alexander the Great” fell short in his rematch against Islam Makhachev, Aspinall has outlined his intentions to deliver his nation’s second late-notice title triumph by following in the footsteps of his friend and mentor, Michael Bisping.
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