The ending to UFC London wasn’t one that anyone anticipated nor wanted. Curtis Blaydes was ready to take on Aspinall in the main event of UFC London on Saturday night. Aspinall’s freak knee injury in the opening seconds of the fight meant an early end to what could’ve been some fight.
Later that night, the English heavyweight posted a photo to social media of the two contenders sharing a beer together. Speaking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Blaydes has detailed how the meet-up came to be.
Blaydes on the MMA Hour
“Random,” Blaydes said. “I was in my room, obviously we’re in the same hotel. My dad, I guess he was in the lobby downstairs at one of the bars in the lobby area. He was down there, and he bumped into Aspinall’s dad, and my dad is a talker. He’ll make friends with anybody. He’ll be your best friend if you guys have a drink.
“So I guess he got to talking, and then my dad walked into my room and was like, ‘Hey, let’s go up to Aspinall’s room. He wants to have a drink with you.’ I was like, ‘OK, I’m down.’ Then we go up there, and they’re really nice. The whole Aspinall [crew], his whole squad, his dad, his uncle, everyone, even the women. Everyone was super nice, super cool…
“We were up there for like an hour. A good, solid hour. They were nice guys, and the atmosphere was very friendly, very inviting.”
It’s yet to be confirmed as to the condition of Tom Aspinall’s knee. It is believed that the Brit suffered a tear to one of the ligaments in his right knee, which will likely require some form of surgery and a great deal of recovery time.
For a man who was potentially just one or two fights away from a title fight, it is a big blow. In fact, a win for Blaydes meant the same. So, the two being in such good spirits after the fight was surprising to all. “He handled it very well – he was upbeat,” Blaydes said.
He’s already better than Derrick Lewis. I think he’s better than Tuivasa; I think he’s better than Gane. I think he’s more well-rounded. He obviously has the wrestling, he has jiu-jitsu, and he’s very athletic on the feet. I believe that he believes he’s going to bounce back, and I believe it also. I don’t think this is the end of Aspinall.”
A Potential Rematch
The meet-up may have actually gone too well. Blaydes has stated that it may be harder to face Aspinall again, should they meet in the future.
“I wish I hadn’t gone up there, because now I like him!” Blaydes said. “I like the guy. You don’t want to fight someone you like, and I know we’re going to scrap again. He’s only 29, he’ll be back. He’s going to be out for eight, nine months, even a year, but he’ll be here, so I know we’re going to scrap again, and it’s hard to scrap a guy you like.
Despite all this, Curtis Blaydes would still like to face the winner of Gane-Tuivasa for a chance at a title eliminator. What do you think should happen? Let us know!