Tom Aspinall is done worrying about things he can’t control.
The British fighter is in a weird place after capturing the UFC interim heavyweight championship in November. Following his KO victory over Sergei Pavlovich, Aspinall was under the impression that a title unification with current champ Jon Jones would await him and maybe it will (eventually).
Aspinall Says He Felt Sorry For Himself At First
Unfortunately for Aspinall, it looks like Jones will stay his course against Stipe Miocic instead. Unhappy with the decision, Aspinall argued he should be next for ‘Bones’ or Miocic in the meantime and went on a social media tangent.
Weeks removed from his understandable outbursts, Aspinall is moving on from his frustration.
“I was definitely feeling sorry for myself,” Aspinall said on ‘The MMA Hour‘. “I had my little cry about it. I did a lot of complaining about it. Anyone who knows me personally knows that complaining is my forte. I like to complain. So, I was a little bit of a Karen, as we say here in the U.K. I had a little cry about it publicly.
“But, when I first started this sport, me and my dad, we had this dream that I’m gonna be the heavyweight champion, that I’m gonna go down as the best heavyweight in history… I ain’t gonna let nothing or nobody hold me back. No Jon Jones, no Stipe Miocic, no Dana White, no UFC politics. Like, if they don’t wanna be involved with it, I respect their decision.”
“I respect the move that they’re making,” Aspinall went on. “I respect Jon Jones and everything that he’s done. I respect the UFC’s decision, but they’re not holding me back, man. I’m gonna be the best heavyweight ever.
“No matter which way it goes, whether it’s the next fight people start thinking it the next year. People start thinking it, the next 10 years, people start thinking it. Like, I don’t care. I’ve got a lot to prove and I’m here to prove it. I ain’t here to shy away from no one or nothing. I ain’t letting anybody or anything hold me back. I’m going full in, balls-to-the-wall, all in, I’ll fight anybody. I’m the guy.
What Changed Aspinall’s Mind?
From being a self-proclaimed ‘Karen’ to making the best out of his complicated situation, Aspinall details how the fans played their part in his mindset shift.
“I did a little bit of online crying and a lot of people are on my side, of course. I’ve openly said, obviously I don’t think the thing that’s going on with Jon Jones is right. I don’t think that the UFC’s decision is right, but that’s just my opinion, man. That’s my opinion. I state my opinion. I respect their opinion, I respect their decision. I respect everything that Jon Jones and the UFC has done and are doing. And a lot of people told me online, ‘Hey Tom, you need to stop crying’.
“And I thought, you know what? I f*cking need to stop crying about it. They’re right. I do need to stop crying. I need to move forward with it and move on with my career and prove that I’m the best. And that’s exactly what I intend on doing.”
‘Let’s Not Get It Twisted’
Aspinall did express interest in rematching Curtis Blaydes, his one and only loss in his Octagon run (which came due to injury) and of course a super-fight of sorts versus Alex Pereira. Still though, the 30 year-old wouldn’t be opposed to fighting Jones or Miocic, if the UFC did end up calling after all.
“If they offered me the fight with either of them, I’m taking it instantaneously. Let’s not get it twisted here, Ariel, I’m taking the fight,” Aspinall told Helwani. “But none of them two are gonna fight me, mate. Let’s be honest, none of them two are gonna fight me and that’s okay. Like, I’m at peace with it.
“If that’s not what they wanna do, if they, if they really feel like they’ve earned the right to not fight the interim champion, if they really feel like that and their ego can rest on that, fair play to them. If they’re happy with loads of people saying that you need to fight Tom and they don’t fight me, like fair play. My ego couldn’t take that personally. I couldn’t take that. Like my ego’s too big.”
Aspinall Reckons He’s ‘Too Risky’ For The Heavyweight Pair
As for the reason Jones or Miocic would rather fight each other than Aspinall, the Brit believes he knows why.
“I’m too dangerous, man,” Aspinall stated. “I’m too risky. I’m too risky, simple. I’m too risky for these guys.
“Who knows? One day, maybe when the shoe’s on the other foot and I’m on the back end of my career, I get put in a situation like that, I’ll do the same thing. I’m not blaming anybody like I wanna say how much respect I have for both guys. Like these guys are frigging heroes of mine. That is part of the reason that I would love to get the opportunity to fight ’em. But if it’s not happening, it’s not happening. The crying’s over, we’ll move on.”