A few days after agreeing to face formidable puncher Sergei Pavlovich for the interim heavyweight title, Tom Aspinall declared that he was positive that taking the fight with just two weeks’ notice was the proper decision.
No, he couldn’t, but he had the chance to seize it when he accepted the fight, and he did so on Saturday.
The UFC scheduled a match between Aspinall and Pavlovich for the interim title when Jon Jones was forced to withdraw from his fight against Stipe Miocic for a pectoral ailment. Aspinall hadn’t been in camp, and Pavlovich had been preparing to be Jones-Miocic’s backup.
However, Pavlovich was sent reeling backward and into the ground by Aspinall’s clean right-hand strike to the temple.
As soon as referee Dan Miragliotta intervened, Aspinall’s almost unattainable goal was realized.
For the 69 seconds the bout lasted, the two men who came in as powerful punchers and swift finishers delivered on their promises. Aspinall appeared to be irritated by Pavlovich’s early combination, and both of them started to hit strong shots.
Aspinall had one distinct advantage, and it proved very beneficial. Because Aspinall was far faster than Pavlovich, he was able to block a sluggish left-hand throw by Pavlovich with a scorching right, ending Pavlovich’s night.
If Jones is well, he and Miocic will still square off, with the victor facing Pavlovich.