One half of UFC London main event, Tom Aspinall details his battles with coping with OCD

The UFC is all set to return to action for the second time this year in the UK, after a massive blockbuster event earlier this year. The O2 Arena was electrifying and buzzing back in March, with UFC London 2022 arguably being the biggest night in UFC history. A total of 12 bouts took place in the English capital and every fight had the British crowds roaring with approval. With 17,081 fans in attendance, UFC London made history by becoming the highest-grossing single sporting event at the O2 Arena. UFC President Dana White had promised that they’d return before the end of this year owing to this grand success, and the UFC head honcho stayed true to his words.

Tom Aspinall
Tom Aspinall in action against Alan Baudot

Crowd favourite Tom Aspinall is all set to headline the second back-to-back London event, this time against top-ranked heavyweight fighter Curtis Blaydes.

Aspinall is emerging as quite a crowd favorite, thanks to his forthright thought process, amiable personality, and brilliant fight skills. For a fighter his size, Aspinall moves with the grace of a welterweight fighter, but carries the power of a true heavyweight in his hands.

The young martial artist had trained with the ‘Gypsy King’ Tyson Fury back when he was 20 years old for almost two years. He has even credited Fury on multiple occasions for shaping him into the fighter that he is today.

Aspinall has spoken fervently in the past about his battles outside the octagon, leading up to a fight, and the anxiety that comes with it. Speaking about his preparation for the fight with Oscar Willis of The Mac Life, Aspinall said, ”I’m OCD. I bet you didn’t know that about me.” OCD is a mental illness that causes anxiety. People suffering with OCD have uncontrollable obsessions, and try to lessen anxiety with repetitive actions.

When Willis asked whether he has to do the flip six times in a switch, Aspinall said, ”Yes..I’m growing out of it. I’m getting better. But I used to be really bad when I was younger. It’s a gift and curse when it comes to me. I think it serves me well because I can’t rest, doing what I feel to do and more. So I feel like its a gift and a curse”

Tom Aspinall vs Curtis Blaydes fight preview

Tom Aspinall is riding on his brilliant victory against Alexander Volkov. He absolutely bulldozed past the veteran Russian, who had no answers for Aspinall on the feet or ground. Tom Aspinall, a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, has a record of 12-2 in the sport. He made his debut in July 2020 against Jake Collier and won the fight by TKO. He has since then been on a five-fight win streak inside the UFC octagon. Currently ranked 6th in the organization, he will be looking forward to putting on a great performance against Volkov and breaking into the top-5 of the division, and landing the coveted title shot.

His opponent Curtis Blyades has fought the who’s who of this generation’s UFC heavyweight fighters, and carries a ton of experience. Curtis Blaydes is an NJCAA wrestler and won the national championship as a sophomore. His MMA game is built around his strong wrestling fundamentals. The number 4 ranked heavyweight contender has been on two four-fight win streaks, before succumbing to defeats against Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis that derailed his run for the title. He bounced back from his loss against Lewish with a unanimous decision victory over Jairzinho Rozenstruik.

His MMA record stands at 16 wins and 3 losses, with one no contest. Blaydes holds notable wins over big names in the heavyweight division like Alexander Volkov, Junior Dos Santos and Mark Hunt. Hailed by Khabib Nurmagomedov once as the brightest prospect, Blaydes will be looking forward to making a statement this weekend.

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