Rising British UFC star Tom Aspinall overcomes loss of sight in one eye to choke out former champ Andrei Arlovski
Tom Aspinall established himself as a legitimate contender in the UFC heavyweight division as he forced former champion Andrei Arlovski to tap out in the second round.
The 6ft 5ins martial artist from Wigan earned himself another quick finish in his Las Vegas debut as he drove Arlovski to the canvas and applied a rear naked choke to end the bout.
Although the 27-year-old was not even a teenager when Arlovski won the heavyweight title in 2005, it was the younger man who proved too strong and too wily on the night.
Both of Aspinall’s previous two wins inside the octagon have been first round knockouts, with a third seemingly on the cards when the Brit showcased his now trademark speed by landing 35 punches and a short right elbow in just 18 seconds and backed Arlovski up against the cage.
But the 42-year-old veteran managed to survive the onslaught, only to be taken out in the very next round when he was driven backwards with a massive double leg and found Aspinall’s right arm under his chin after giving up his back.
It was a super performance from the rising star in just his 12th professional performance, with Team Kaobon teammate Darren Till sending a message of congratulations on social media to his pal.
Speaking to Michael Bisping, the first and so far only British UFC champion in history, Aspinall revealed he had to finish the job with just one eye after being caught early on in the fight.
He said afterwards: “Do you know what Mike? He is a veteran and he hit me with a good couple of shots and he hit me in the eye early on and I couldn’t see nothing.
“So it took me a bit longer than usual, but it is all good.”