Interim UFC heavyweight champion Tom Aspinall won’t be granting Ciryl Gane the chance to face him, especially since the French heavyweight has insisted on holding out for his next title shot.
The normally amicable Aspinall stepped out of character to roast Gane during an appearance on Michael Bisping’s ‘Believe You Me’ podcast on November 17:
“I’ll tell you one thing,” Aspinall paused. “Ciryl Gane’s waiting – I’m not fighting him. Because I did the work on him, I called him out after my fight [with Marcin Tybura] — turned it down, doesn’t want to fight me. I then showed up in his hometown in Paris, openly said on the microphone that he doesn’t want to fight me. Then when I went on the Ariel Helwani show and said he doesn’t want to fight me. Now I’ve got the title, he wants to leapfrog everybody else and fight me. No mate you can wait!”
Aspinall called for Gane to fight Jailton Almeida, remarking that he’d fight the winner of that matchup. Almeida called for a Gane fight after defeating Derrick Lewis recently, and doubled down on his callout when Aspinall won the title:
Tom Aspinall: I Think the UFC Will Give Me Stipe Miocic Next
Bisping popped the question, “What if the UFC said that’s [Gane] the only fight they’d entertain?” to which Aspinall replied, “Nah they’ll do me and Stipe [Miocic].”
The likelihood of Aspinall facing Miocic is more plausible than it might initially appear. Aspinall’s last-minute inclusion in UFC 295 stemmed from the cancellation of Jon Jones vs. Miocic, as reigning champ Jones sustained a torn bicep during training. His recovery timeline extends potentially until Summer 2024, leaving uncertainty about his return. In the meantime, Miocic remains available for competition, potentially against Aspinall for a vacant title in the event Jones is stripped.
It’s safe to say that Aspinall’s career trajectory has taken a turn for the better, and he is now on the cusp of complete UFC stardom.