UFC: Predictions for Tom Aspinall’s heavyweight interim title fight against Sergei Pavlovich

Venue: Madison Square Garden, New York Date: Saturday, 11 November
Coverage: Follow text commentary on BBC Sport website & app from 05:00 GMT on Sunday, 12 November

Tom Aspinall aims to become just the third Briton to win a UFC title when he fights Sergei Pavlovich at UFC 295 on Saturday in New York.

Aspinall, 30, fights for the interim heavyweight title against Russia’s Pavlovich.

Aspinall accepted the fight on just 17 days’ notice after reigning champion Jon Jones was forced to withdraw from his defence against Stipe Miocic due to injury.

Only Michael Bisping (middleweight) and current welterweight champion Leon Edwards have won UFC belts as British fighters.

Pavlovich, 31, is on a ferocious run with six first-round finishes in a row, but Aspinall himself has five first-round finishes in his six wins in the UFC.

Aspinall (13-3) hopes to emulate Bisping in having just 17 days to prepare for a UFC title shot. Can Aspinall join an elite club of British UFC champions or will Pavlovich claim the interim belt at Madison Square Garden?

Here are some predictions from the world of combat sports.

Former UFC champion Michael Bisping: “I think Aspinall takes it. Round one. Big fan of Sergei as well though.”

UFC heavyweight contender Jailton Almeida: “I think I’ll favour Pavlovich. He’s the guy with the full camp, and Aspinall was just training to train. He wasn’t mentally ready for a title fight. He wasn’t thinking about the title.”

WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury:external-link “This is a massive opportunity for Aspinall. We come from nearly the same area, just a couple of miles from each other. I know how long and hard he’s trained for an opportunity like this. It definitely can be done, I’ve always said since he started in the UFC he’s capable of winning the heavyweight championship of the world. He can go there, seize it with both hands and immortality awaits.”

Welsh featherweight Jack Shore: “I think Tom will be too well rounded and too fast. I’m going for a second round submission or KO for Tom.”

UFC welterweight Belal Muhammad:external-link “There isn’t a heavyweight like Aspinall. His movement, his footwork is so good and he has wrestling. I think it comes to avoiding that first storm from Pavlovich. I think Aspinall needs to be smart with his footwork, stay on the outside and not get in a slugfest, and I think Aspinall could end up finishing him in the later rounds.”

Former two-time UFC champion Henry Cejudo:external-link “I hope this fight goes five rounds. Aspinall is more well-rounded, he has more submissions, but Pavlovich has more of that vicious power, he can put you away and he takes chances. The simple fact that Pavlovich is willing to take more chances is why I’m going with him as the new interim heavyweight champion of the world.”

Former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway:external-link “If I was a betting man I’d rock with Aspinall a little bit more. But these are heavyweights. One punch, one kick, one knee can change the fight. Big Tom has the speed, Pavlovich has the power. This is going to be a fun fight, someone is getting knocked out.”

UFC featherweight Arnold Allen:external-link “Obviously I want Tom Aspinall to win. My only question is what shape is he in? Has he been preparing for a fight? How’s his cardio over five rounds for an interim title? Pavlovich has been preparing for an opponent, so it’s interesting. I think if Aspinall can get the fight to the ground he will win, but Pavlovich on the feet… It’s always 50-50 with heavyweights.”

Source: BBC News

Previous Post

ICC Cricket World Cup: Malan caught as he tries to reverse-sweep Iftikhar

Next Post

Macron condemns rising antisemitism and Israeli bombing of civilians

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *