The UFC may have lost its heavyweight champion, but the world of combat sports could potentially be set for a blockbuster crossover fight between Francis Ngannou and Tyson Fury, and Tom Aspinall is all in on the idea.
The British UFC heavyweight contender is working his way back to fighting fitness after knee surgery and, in an interview with OLBG, Aspinall said he would love to see now-former UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou throwing leather with “The Gypsy King,” especially if it’s in a mixed-rules bout.
“Tyson Fury said he wants to fight Francis Ngannou in MMA gloves inside a cage but with boxing rules, the whole world would watch that,” said Aspinall, who earlier in his career sparred rounds with Fury as a training partner.
“There’s nothing I would enjoy more than that fight. That would be absolutely awesome.
“If they did three five-minute rounds and they were allowed some kind of clinching as well, maybe let them clinch for like 30 seconds, let them have some under hooks and that, I’d love to see that more than anything else.”
Ngannou’s departure from the UFC means that the planned superfight between “The Predator” and the returning Jon Jones has been scrapped, but Aspinall said he respected the reasons behind the Cameroonian’s decision to walk away from the Octagon.
“I would have loved to see Jones-Ngannou but I think what Ngannou has done is really good,” he said.
“I respect people who stick to their views and if something is not right for them they still stick by what they believe. I really respect that on a personal level.
“If someone is convinced of something and they won’t move on it, you have to respect that in any walk of life.”
Aspinall also weighed in on the upcoming boxing bout between Jake Paul and Tommy Fury, with the UFC star suggesting the bout is a virtual pick-em contest.
“It’s a 50-50 fight between Jake Paul and Tommy Fury,” he said.
“I like Jake Paul and Tommy Fury is a mate of mine, I’ve known him since he was 14 years old. I’ve not seen him train for a while but I spoke to his brother recently, Roman Fury. And Roman said he’s really turned a corner in his training.
“He said something has switched in him and he’s looking amazing in the gym and has really turned the corner, and I guess that’s true because Roman’s not said that on any media outlet, he wasn’t saying it to big Tommy up – sometimes people say things to the media that aren’t true. Roman said it in a private situation, so if he’s saying that I believe that’s the truth and I think it’s going to be a 50-50 fight.”