Tom Aspinall drafts in Tyson Fury's old sparring partner to help him prepare for UFC London

  • Tom Ward
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Tom Aspinall has drafted in Tyson Fury‘s old sparring partner to help him prepare for his huge fight against Alexander Volkov at UFC London.

The British MMA fighter will face the Russian in what will be the former’s first main event in the world’s premier mixed martial arts organisation on March 19 at the O2 Arena.

Aspinall and Volkov, 28 and 33 respectively, are ranked No.11 and No.6 in the heavyweight division according to the official rankings.

Fighting out of Team Kaobon in Liverpool, Aspinall has brought Dutch professional kickboxer Rico Verhoeven into his training camp for his fight.

Nicknamed the King of Kickboxing, Verhoeven currently competes in the heavyweight division for Glory, where he is the undisputed world champion.

Aspinall and Verhoeven were a part of Team Fury for many years, sparring Tyson and cousin Hughie when the pair were first starting out in the professional ranks.

The two also received the call ahead of the 33-year-old’s bout with Wladimir Klitschko back in 2015.

Tyson’s dad and mentor John Fury meanwhile has spoken highly of Aspinall, insisting he is capable of crossing over into boxing and winning world titles like his son.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 04: In this handout image provided by UFC, (L-R) Tom Aspinall of England punches Serghei Spivak of the Ukraine in their welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on September 04, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

In an exclusive interview with GIVEMESPORT, Fury Sr said: “I’m telling you now, Tom Aspinall will do big things in the UFC, but he’ll also have a crossover bout and he’ll probably be the first MMA fighter to do mega things in boxing as well.

“Because he can actually box well, punches hard, and moves really well for a heavyweight.

“He’s a big guy, six foot four or five, eighteen stone.

“But he’s got bottle and guts to burn, and he’s a big strong lad.

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“He’s willing to learn and improve his game.

“He’s a good listener Tom Aspinall, I like him, I like his attitude, he’s a warrior like Tyson.

“He doesn’t let nothing overcome him. He doesn’t let nothing get in his way.

“Look at the mark he’s already making, he’s in the top 10 now in the UFC, he’s only young still.

“And I think when he’s done there, he can be the first crossover to come from the MMA world to conventional boxing and win titles, and I said that first.

“Keep doing your thing Tom Aspinall, you’re great mate, I like you a lot.”

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