UFC London: Curtis Blaydes 'frustrated' after Tom Aspinall suffers horror knee injury

  • Tom Ward

Curtis Blaydes endured a frustrating night as he retained his UFC heavyweight ranking against Tom Aspinall.

The American MMA fighter locked horns with Tyson Fury‘s former sparring partner in the main event of UFC Fight Night 208 on Saturday night.

Aspinall was left writhing on the floor in agony after suffering a horrific knee injury in the first round of their headline fight.

He was taken by stretcher out of the O2 Arena in North Greenwich and transported to a local hospital for precautionary checks before being given the all-clear to return to the fighter hotel.

But Blaydes doesn’t have a clue what caused the injury – nor does he seem to particularly care either as he was just grateful to get the victory.

He said: “I have no idea what happened. He landed the kick, I went to counter, he dropped. That’s all I know.

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“I’m not risking my ranking. I won the fight. Heading into the fight I envisioned the winner – which is me – fighting the winner of [Tai] Tuivasa vs [Ciryl] Gane so I’m not going to pass up an opportunity to fight those guys when it’s right there and wait for Aspinall to heal and run it back.

“That’s the word. I’m frustrated. No one wants to win like that.

Curtis Blaydes throws a punch at Tom Aspinall

“I got the win, I held my ranking, I get the money, but without the fight, did it even happen?

“Is this going to be in the news next week? Am I going to be on YouTube? Am I going to gain 50,000 Instagram followers?

“No, so I’m disappointed about that, but nothing I can do about it now.

“I’m just going to hang out. My family’s here, they came all the way out here. We’re still going to hang out.

“We’re still going to have a few beers. Obviously it’s not going to be lit but what else am I going to do? Go home in my room and just cry all night?

“No, I won, so I’m happy.”

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And despite being cordial in the build-up to the fight, the 32-year-old revealed he didn’t think Aspinall lived up to the hype.

“Yeah, I wanted to. Everyone was hyping up his speed,” he added.

“He’s not as fast as you guys seem to think he is.

“I know it was only 15 seconds but every exchange he got touched easily. A lot of his highlights when he’s sparking these guys, it’s because they’re stagnant. They don’t move their feet which is what I do, so I just don’t believe the hype.

“I don’t think he is as fast as everyone thought he was. Obviously he’s also not as big as everyone made him out to be. I felt like I was bigger, more athletic, more explosive.

“And obviously I think my bones are stronger, because he landed a big kick on me and he ended up getting the injury, so I don’t know.

“I don’t know. This is a weird night. It’s really hard to come up with the answers for a win like that.

“It’s hard to be hyped up about it.”

READ MORE: UFC London results: Molly McCann & Paddy Pimblett win but Tom Aspinall loses main event

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