Tyson Fury congratulated ‘brother’ Tom Aspinall and said it ‘couldn’t have happened to a more lovely person’ after he became UFC heavyweight champion.
The 30-year-old, who took the fight on two-and-a-half-weeks notice, obliterated the man he described as the ‘scariest in the UFC’ and he left an impression on Fury with his statement display at Madison Square Garden in New York.
‘God bless you Tom, all the best brother. It couldn’t have happened to a more lovely person. Congratulations to you and your family and I hope you have a fantastic, fantastic time.’
Tyson Fury (left) paid tribute to former sparring partner Tom Aspinall (right) after he took the interim heavyweight title belt following victory in New York over Sergei Pavlovich at UFC 295
Fury’s words of congratulations on Instagram came after he excitably reacted to the fight on X.
‘We’ve got some serious talent in England,’ Fury posted after the fight.
‘Massive congratulations to Tom on his win. Another top-tier athlete in the making!’
Fury, the WBC heavyweight boxing champion, brought Aspinall into his camp ahead of his clash with Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia in a bid to better understand the complexities of facing an MMA fighter.
Speaking to TNT Sports recently on Aspinall’s qualities, Fury said: ‘He’s a good fighter, probably could have made it as a pro boxer.
‘I was quite sure he would have gone on and won a world championship but he had a derailment with his knee, and that fell out, now he’s had his comeback trail. I think he can do it. He’s big enough, he’s got the power, he’s a black belt in jiu-jitsu.’
The 30-year-old joins Hall of Famer Michael Bisping and welterweight king Leon Edwards
Aspinall took the fight on two-and-a-half-weeks notice and delivered an incredible knockout
Aspinall lived up to Fury’s billing with an incredible first-round knockout.
A big right hand to the temple and two further shots fired in rapid succession put his Russian rival down.
‘I can’t even tell you (how it feels),’ said an emotional Aspinall.
‘It’s been a crazy two and a half weeks. If you ever get a chance to do something and you’re scared to do it– you should f***ing do it.’
Aspinall went on to praise Pavlovich, as he had throughout fight week, before dedicating the belt to his father.
‘He’s a big scary guy. But I have a lot of power too and I believe in myself,’ the Englishman said.
Aspinall joins Hall of Famer Michael Bisping and welterweight king Leon Edwards in a short list of UK fighters to bring home UFC gold.