Rising UFC heavyweight, Tom Aspinall is set to return to the cage at the UFC’s March 19 event where he looks to progress in an ever-improving heavyweight division.

Aspinall, 28, draws Russia’s Shamil Abdurakhimov in his fifth outing under the UFC banner where he looks to remain undefeated within the promotion.

Andy Aspinall, Tom’s father and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach at team Kaobon, is optimistic about his son’s chances and believes he possesses the tools necessary to climb one step closer toward UFC gold.

“He’s a really really good finisher, I think if he sees an opportunity to finish, he’s really good at taking it”.

“I think his skill level is really really high, I think if he had a fight that lasted an hour with four disciplines in it, boxing, wrestling and Jiu jitsu and Muay Thai, I think he’d be really really good”.

 

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Abdurakhimov is a staple of the division’s top 15 but has lost his last two fights via TKO. He holds the number 8 position in the rankings, presenting a good opportunity for Tom to advance in the divisional standings.

Andy said: “He’s not been active for a while, he’s had time off, he came after a couple of years off to fight Daukaus, so will he be a lot better this time or is he too old to get better? He may be training twice as hard to keep his place in the UFC”.

Although rankings may be important in the promotion’s infrastructure, Andy stresses that Tom isn’t in any rush to get to the top.

“Tom, in his life has only had 52 minutes in a ring, that’s not a lot, he just does need experience. He’s got the skill and the speed and stuff and can punch people, but still (in the UFC) he’s not even fought in front of a crowd”.

 

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Tom himself wants to take his time, with more experience being key to a long and successful career.

“He’s not bothered about rankings, it’s just the experience he wants, he wants to be doing this for a long time he says, he doesn’t want to be just a flash in the pan”.

Andy believes this contest will be no different to Tom’s previous fights in the UFC, all of which have been over within the first two rounds.

“Maybe it’ll be similar to the last fight he had with Spivak, big guy, can punch hard, can wrestle, I think he’s similar”.

“Hopefully he’s a bit too old and a bit too slow and Tom can do what he does”.

A location for the event is yet to be announced, but with mid-March being the typical time frame for a UFC event in the UK. London could certainly be a possibility.

“Everyone says to Tom that him and London don’t go together, because every time he’s supposed to fight there it gets cancelled but that would be good, it would be great”.

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