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Tom Aspinall finally banishes ghosts of the past with UFC London triumph

The Wigan heavyweight stopped Marcin Tybura in the first round at the O2, one year after suffering a severe injury in the same building

Alex Pattle
O2 Arena
Sunday 23 July 2023 09:14 BST
MMA fighter Tom Aspinall sings 'Sweet Caroline' at UFC London

Tom Aspinall banished a ghost at the O2 Arena on Saturday, securing a statement victory at UFC London to make a triumphant return, one year after suffering a severe injury in the same building.

In July 2022, Aspinall tore his MCL and stretched his ACL just 15 seconds into his main event with Curtis Blaydes, and almost exactly 365 days later, the Wigan heavyweight stopped Marcin Tybura in the first round to get back to winning ways.

Aspinall, 30, hurt Tybura early with a head kick but resisted getting carried away, instead biding his time – briefly, at least – before dropping the Pole, 37, with a straight right hand. Aspinall then pounced with hammer fists, forcing the stoppage with 1:13 on the clock, before climbing atop the cage to celebrate.

“I wasn’t myself last year, this is a whole new version of me,” Aspinall said in his post-fight interview. “I’m not gonna say that I’m back, because I’m different. My mind’s different, my body’s different. I’m going all the way [to the belt].

“I’ll tell you exactly what I’m gonna do: I’m gonna go to Paris [in September], I’m gonna be sat front row for Ciryl Gane against Sergey Spivak. I’m gonna beat the winner, and then I’m gonna beat [champion] Jon Jones.”

The result put the crowd back in jubilant spirits, after “Meatball” Molly McCann suffered a submission loss in the co-main event.

The Liverpudlian fan favourite tapped to an armbar in her flyweight contest with Julija Stoliarenko, on what was a night of mixed fortunes for British fighters.

Full UFC London results (* denotes British fighter)

Aspinall finishes Tybura with hammer fists after dropping the Pole (Action Images via Reuters)

Main card

*Tom Aspinall def. Marcin Tybura via first-round TKO (punches, 1:13)

Julija Stoliarenko def. *Molly McCann via first-round submission (armbar, 1:55)

*Nathaniel Wood def. Andre Fili via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

*Paul Craig def. Andre Muniz via second-round TKO (punches and elbows, 4:40)

Fares Ziam def. *Jai Herbert via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

*Lerone Murphy def. Josh Culibao via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)

Daniel Marcos def. *Davey Grant via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Molly McCann (right) was submitted by Julija Stoliarenko in the co-main event (Action Images via Reuters)


Jonny Parsons def. *Danny Roberts via second-round TKO (punches, 4:57)

Joel Alvarez def. *Marc Diakiese via second-round submission (head-arm choke, 4:26)

*Mick Parkin def. Jamal Pogues via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Makhmud Muradov def. Bryan Barberena via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Ketlen Vieira def. Pannie Kianzad via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

*Chris Duncan def. Yanal Ashmouz via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Bruna Brasil def. Shauna Bannon via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Jafel Filho def. Daniel Barez via first-round submission (arm-triangle choke, 1:34)

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