UFC heavyweight Tom Aspinall might be out for quite some time after suffering a knee injury at UFC London last month. Aspinall was featured in the headlining bout in his hometown, in front of a sold-out crowd when his knee gave out on him just 15 seconds into his fight with Curtis Blaydes. The fight was called and Aspinall was forced to get surgery on his knee. He is now recovering but is looking at a long road ahead before he can get back into the Octagon.
While Aspinall was a guest on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, he spoke about the injury and explained that it was not something new he was dealing with. The knee had been a problem of his from before he even got into the UFC. He explained why he never took care of the problem before this ultimate blowout.
“I got greedy. I’m not even gonna lie about it. I got greedy. When you’re on a roll, and you go in, it’s like, you just want to keep it going,” he explained. “So I actually got this injury before I got signed by the UFC and then I was like, Well, I can’t not get this UFC contract, I’m gonna fight. I’m gonna manage it and I’m gonna fight with the knee, that’s no problem. So then I got the first fight. Then they offered me another fight. So I took the next fight. And then I won that pretty quick. And then they offered me a fight with my hero at the time, and forever, Andre Arlovski, everybody knows who’s followed my career that he’s been my hero from day one. I was like, Man, I can’t get the surgery now like, I can’t rehab the knee now.”
This pattern of putting off the eventual surgery went on like this for Aspinall. He won his last five in a row before this injury and Aspinall was one of the fastest rising heavyweights on the roster. He is currently sitting in the number six spot in the rankings.
“I managed it for like six seven fights. Let’s do this one more and then we’re gonna get the knee sorted out. Yeah, I gambled a little bit too much on this one,” he said. “But that’s just what we do. Do you know what I mean? That’s as high-level fighters like, you’ve got to gamble on yourself. And you got to believe in yourself and you know, I just pushed that stuff to the side now, push that sh-t to the side, this was on me and I did it one too many times and now I’m paying the price for it.”
Aspinall was on his way to a title shot before the injury happened. The fight with Blaydes could have been a title contender fight, but unfortunately for both men, the way it ended may have put that idea to rest. Aspinall explained he could be out for 8 months with the severity of this injury and recovery from the surgery. As is the case with MMA, the divisions will go on without him, but with someone as talented as Aspinall, he should be able to jump right back in when he is all healed up.