Tom Aspinall Wants Curtis Blaydes as Next Opponent Over Ciryl Gane

Tom Aspinall’s got his sights set. He’s eyeing Curtis Blaydes over Ciryl Gane for his next fight. And why not? After clinching the UFC interim heavyweight title by knocking out Sergei Pavlovich last November, Aspinall’s in a bit of a pickle for his next bout.

With Jon Jones out nursing an injury and expected to face Stipe Miocic upon return, Aspinall’s choices narrow down to Blaydes and Gane. Seems like Jones or Miocic won’t be sharing the octagon with Aspinall anytime soon. So, Blaydes it is. Especially after Blaydes knocked the wind out of Jailton Almeida’s sails at UFC 299 last month.

Aspinall’s got a score to settle with Blaydes, thanks to a knee injury that cost him their last match in just 15 seconds. That mishap remains a sore spot in Aspinall’s otherwise spotless UFC record. “Curtis Blaydes… Because we were supposed to fight, we had a fight for 15 seconds, I injured my knee and he has a win over me,” Aspinall spilled on “The MMA Hour.”

He continued, “First of all, let’s not beat around the bush here, Jon Jones is the guy I wanna fight. But that’s not happening. Then we’ve got Stipe, of course, he’s free, makes sense. That’s not happening. So the next guy I wanna fight, Curtis Blaydes, because we’ve got some unfinished business.”

Aspinall doesn’t have anything personal against Blaydes. In fact, he likes the guy. They’ve hung out, he’s met Blaydes’ dad and team – “great people, like, top of the food chain type people, my kind of people.” But, when it comes down to business, Aspinall’s got a big problem to solve in the ring.

Though Aspinall isn’t exactly thrilled at the prospect of fighting Gane, he won’t shy away if the UFC sets it up. Gane, according to Aspinall, has a history of dodging fights, including ones against him. “I’ll take him out then… He’s dismissed me on multiple occasions, and I’m not the first guy that he’s dismissed. I’m not the first guy that he’s ducked.”

Aspinall’s frustration is palpable. “The reason that I got the Pavlovich fight was because Ciryl [Gane] didn’t want it so he ducked [Sergei] Pavlovich. He then ducked Curtis Blaydes. Curtis Blaydes has been on record saying that. I asked for him, years ago, didn’t want it then. Then when I asked for him in Paris, they flew me over, we tried to make that fight. He didn’t want it then. And we’ll see what the UFC wants to do.”

In the world of MMA, it’s clear that while friendships can be formed outside the octagon, inside it’s all about settling scores and proving oneself. Aspinall’s ready for his next challenge, be it Blaydes or Gane.

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