Salford’s Tom Aspinall defeated Russian Alexander Volkov via submission in the first round at UFC London.

Aspinall, 28, was featuring in his first ever UFC main event and the first UFC event in the UK for nearly three years.

The Salfordian was on top early, after he unleashed a string of ferocious elbows on the Russian heavyweight.

He finished the fight with a straight arm lock, submitting Volkov with one minute and 15 seconds remaining in the first round.

Aspinall has a professional record of 12 wins and two losses after Saturdays victory. Winning all five of his fights since joining the UFC.

After the bout he turned his attention to his next opponent and is now targeting a showdown with Australian Tai Tuivasa, the number-three ranked heavyweight.

He said: “Mr Tai Tuivasa. Next time you come to the UK. Let’s do it. I’m ready for you.

“I think we’ll have a great fight. He brings some buzz to the audience, I bring some buzz to the audience. So next time the UFC is in the UK I want to do it.”

Aspinall was asked whether he would take the fight elsewhere.

He said: “I want to wait for the UK. I want to do that again. I want to do it all the time. They’re talking about doing it again this year, so sign me up.”

Aspinall has been tipped to be a future UFC heavyweight champion. Something teammate and fellow UFC fighter Darren Till reinforced on Saturday.

Till, 29, is the number eight-ranked fighter in the middleweight division.

He said: “The next champion. The next heavyweight champion.”

Aspinall is currently the eleventh-ranked fighter in the heavyweight division but with victory over sixth-ranked Volkov, he is one step closer to a heavyweight title fight.

He spoke about the potential of a future championship fight, stating: “I’m not in a rush. I need to be ready for these guys (Francis Ngannou & Ciryl Gane) I need to be fighting guys with experience.

He spoke of the importance of self belief and from those around him.

He said: “The secret is self belief. I believe in myself. My dad, my coaches, my teammates. They’ve believed in me since I was born.”

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