Tom Aspinall made short work of Sergei Pavlovich in a short notice appearance to win the interim UFC heavyweight championship. Aspinall beat his own record-setting average for shortest average fight duration to become the interim heavyweight champion at UFC 295 in New York City on Saturday.
"It's been a crazy two and a half weeks…" Aspinall said during his post-fight interview. "If you ever get the chance to do something and you're scared to do it, you should absolutely f---ing do it.
"I really believe in myself and I've worked so hard over the years. And this fella next to me, my father, has worked harder than anyone. So this victory is dedicated to him."
Aspinall and Pavlovich lived up to their reputations as fast starters, improving on their averages as the two active fighters with the shortest average fight duration in UFC. Aspinall told CBS Sports it was imparetive he was playful in the opening moments and he did just that. Aspinall was calm when faced by Pavlovich's pressure and found the opening for a crushing right hand to the temple. The shot shook Pavlovich and a crisp follow-up combination ended the matter.
Aspinall accepted the fight against Pavlovich on roughly two weeks notice after Jon Jones suffered an injury. Pavlovich was already preparing as the back-up fighter for the main event, but Aspinall was not in the mix until UFC opted to pivot. Aspinall is the third UFC champion representing England and has looked flawless in eight UFC appearances, excluding a knee injury he suffered seconds into a fight with Curtis Blaydes.
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