Tom Aspinall’s performances inside the Octagon have won plaudits from a wide range of sources, from media to fighters to coaches. And one of the sport’s most respected coaching voices has lent his weight to the growing hype around the English contender.
Aspinall needed just 73 seconds to run through the perennially-tough Marcin Tybura at UFC London and make a major statement to the rest of the division as he returned from knee surgery, and a year hiatus, to blast his way into title contention.
His performance has prompted plenty of debate over who the top contender will be after Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic face off for the title at UFC 295 in New York in November, and American Kickboxing Academy head coach Javier Mendez said he’s convinced the Briton will eventually capture UFC heavyweight gold.
“Based on everything I see, Tom Aspinall is 100 million percent going to be the future heavyweight champion,” Mendez told SafeBettingSites.
“Based on what I’ve seen and what I’ve heard about him, I think people don’t know how great this guy is. I even heard he’s a sparring boxing champion and he’s been boxing for a long time, that just shows me the level he’s at. And he’s not really shown his level in the UFC as his fights haven’t lasted that long. He’s thoroughly dominated everyone.
“He’s not really a known guy yet. But the little insight I have on him and the little bit I watched of him, I’m extremely impressed by him – and as a human being, a very good guy. I think the UK has the future champ, I really do. Jon Jones is how old now, 36? Who knows how much time Jones has left. Tom is definitely the future.”
One of the big questions to emerge following Aspinall’s return is about how he might fare against Jones in a heavyweight title fight. Aspinall has made no secret of his desire to fight Jones for the belt in the near future, and told Fighters Only during fight week in London that he believes that he is now ready to face the two-division world champion.
Mendez agreed, and said that while Aspinall may be the underdog heading into a potential title clash with “Bones,” the Englishman would be a threat.
“Tom Aspinall 100 percent would have a chance against Jon Jones,” he said.
“I’d favor Jones though, because if he takes the fight he knows he can do it. But, if we give Aspinall a few more fights and experience, then I might reverse my pick.”