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Tom Aspinall Wants To Defend Interim Heavyweight Title at UFC 300

Tom Aspinall UFC
UFC interim heavyweight champion Tom Aspinall wants to defend his title at UFC 300. Aspinall is not interested in waiting for a fight. (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports)

Tom Aspinall Wants to Defend Interim Heavyweight Title at UFC 300

At UFC 295, Tom Aspinall knocked out Sergei Pavlovich to earn the interim UFC heavyweight title. The accomplishment comes with positives and negatives. Most importantly, Aspinall crowned himself as the next generation of heavyweights. At the same time, the muddy waters of the heavyweight division put his future in question.

Aspinall was given his interim title opportunity because a shoulder injury forced Jon Jones out of his UFC 295 title fight against Stipe Miocic. The UFC is still expecting to rebook Jones and Miocic. That sidelines Aspinall for the foreseeable future as he has to wait for Jones to recover and fight Miocic. At a minimum, it is highly unlikely that Aspinall fight in 2024.

The 30-year-old does not seem keen on waiting that long for another fight, however. In an interview with Caroline Peace of TNT Sports, Aspinall proposed defending the interim title at UFC 300.

You don’t want to sit out about 18 months, do you?” Pearce asked.

“Absolutely not,” Aspinall replied. “I want to fight on UFC 300. That’s my goal. I think that is in the summertime–April is it–around my birthday. That’s perfect. I’ve had two fights in three months now. I’m happy to have some time away from the pressure of fighting for a little bit. April sounds just about perfect for me.”

For Aspinall to get his wish, the UFC will need to back his request. It is hard to predict if they will allow him to defend the interim title. On one hand, adding Aspinall to UFC 300 would greatly increase the quality of the card. On the other hand, putting Aspinall on the shelf preserves him for a fight against Jones while providing a backup plan if the GOAT opts to retire.

If Aspinall defends the interim title, Ciryl Gane would be his most likely opponent. Another option would be that Gane fights Jailton Almeida with the winner earning the fight against Aspinall.

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