Tom Aspinall banished a ghost at the O2 Arena on Saturday, securing a statement win at UFC London and making a triumphant return a year after suffering a serious injury in the same building.
In July 2022, Aspinall tore and strained his cruciate ligament just 15 seconds into his main event with Curtis Blaydes, and almost exactly 365 days later, Wigan heavyweight stopped Marcin Tybura in the first round and returned to winning ways.
Aspinall, 30, injured Tybura with an early headbutt but didn’t let himself get carried away and instead waited – at least briefly – before bringing down the 37-year-old Pole with a straight right hand. Then Aspinall lunged with hammerfists, forcing the stop before climbing onto the cage to cheer.
“I wasn’t myself [last time], that’s a whole new version of me,” Aspinall said in his post-fight interview. “I won’t say I’m back; I am different. my mind is different I go all the way [to the belt].
“I’ll tell you exactly what I’m going to do: I’m going to Paris [in September]I will sit in the front row at Ciryl Gane against Sergey Spivak and then defeat the winner of this fight. Then I will hit [champion] Jon Jones.”
The result got the crowd cheering again after “Meatball” Molly McCann suffered a submission loss in the co-main event.
The Liverpudlian fan favorite tapped an armbar during her flyweight match with Julija Stoliarenko in what was a mixed night for the British fighters.
Full UFC London Results (*denotes British fighter)
*Tom Aspinall defeated. Marcin Tybura via TKO in the first round (punches, 1:13)
Yulia Stoliarenko defeated. *Molly McCann via assist in first round (Armbar, 1:55)
*Nathaniel Wood defeated. Andre Fili by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
*Paul Craig defeated. Andre Muniz via TKO in the second round (punches and elbows, 4:40)
Fares Ziam def. *Jai Herbert by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
*Lerone defeated Murphy. Josh Culibao by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Daniel Marcos defeated. *Davey Grant via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Jonny Parsons defeated. *Danny Roberts via TKO in the second round (punches, 4:57)
Joel Alvarez defeated. *Marc Diakiese on second-round submission (head-arm choke, 4:26)
*Defeated Mick Parkin. Jamal Pogues by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Makhmud Muradov defeated. Bryan Barberena by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Ketlen defeated Vieira. Pannie Kianzad by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
*Chris Duncan defeated. Yanal Ashmouz by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Bruna Brasil defeated. Shauna Bannon by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Defeated Jafel Filho. Daniel Barez via assist in the first round (arm-triangle choke, 1:34)
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