Listening to his nutritionist, focusing on rest and pulling off the exercises other men his size simply can’t… how hulking 18-stone Tom Aspinall crafted his 6ft 4in frame to become heavyweight superstar ahead of UFC 295 clash with Sergei Pavlovich
- British star Tom Aspinall will compete for the UFC heavyweight title on Saturday
- Ahead of the fight, Mail Sport takes a look at his stunning body transformation
- Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk fight details out THIS WEEK: Listen to The Hook
On Saturday, UFC star Tom Aspinall will look to become the third British champion in the organisation’s history when he takes on Sergei Pavlovich at UFC 295.
The Brit, who believes Pavlovich is the most dangerous fighter in the UFC, accepted the bout on just two-and-a-half weeks notice – after fellow heavyweight Jon Jones was forced to withdraw from the event due to injury.
It’ll be Aspinall’s first title fight in the UFC and will mark the culmination of his hard-work over the years, since making his debut in the organisation back in 2020.
Along the way, fans have witnessed Aspinall’s thrilling performances, his struggles with injury set-backs and the incredible body transformation he’s embarked on.
And so, here, Mail Sport takes a look at the impressive change in physique for the British star ahead of his heavyweight title fight at UFC 295.
UFC star Tom Aspinall has been on an incredible journey since making his debut in 2020
The British fighter will take on Sergei Pavlovich for the UFC heavyweight title on Saturday
Aspinall’s UFC debut came back in July 2020, when he faced off with Jake Collier in the fourth and final UFC Fight Island event on Yas Island.
In the pictures taken prior to the fight, Aspinall sported a long, curly hair-style and scaled 251lb.
The heavyweight prospect certainly caught the attention of UFC chiefs after dismantling his opponent within the first minute of their fight.
A brutal knee to the body followed by a clean striking combination sent his counterpart to the canvas and earned the Brit his first UFC win.
While many in the UFC may have been surprised by Aspinall’s impressive stand-up skills, those who followed him would have known of his training with Tyson Fury.
Aspinall has been a long-time sparring partner for the Gypsy King and was recently in camp with the boxer to help prepare for his fight with MMA star Francis Ngannou.
With the skills honed during training with Fury, Aspinall has gone on to have a flourishing career within the UFC and has picked up six wins from his seven bouts.
After defeating Collier with ease, Aspinall went on a five-fight win-streak, which saw him triumph over the likes of Alexander Volkov and Sergei Spivac.
Aspinall has been a long-term training partner for British heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury (R)
Aspinall (second from left) looked a different person when training with Fury back in the day
Aspinall had seemed destined for a run to the top of the heavyweight division and, to solidify that, was matched up with UFC veteran Curtis Blaydes.
Aspinall and Blaydes headlined the highly-anticipated Fight Night card in July last year however things did not go to plan for the Brit after he suffered a nasty injury.
He underwent after suffering a torn MCL, torn meniscus and some ACL damage just seconds into his headline clash with Blaydes.
He made his return a year later, facing Marcin Tybura in July, and weighed a career-heaviest 258lb but looked ripped and ready for his comeback bout.
Prior to that fight, he exclusively revealed to Mail Sport how he had used his lay-off and recovery time to chase marginal gains and improve his fitness.
‘Training is a small percentage of being an athlete. You’re only going to be spending three or four hours a day in the gym, as a heavyweight at least’, Aspinall exclusively explained to Mail Sport.
Aspinall sufferd a torn meniscus during the opening minute of his fight with Curtis Blaydes
The injury meant Aspinall was sidelined for a year, however he used that time to fine-tune his training regime and assess his diet
‘That means there’s 20 hours left in a day that you need to still be focused as well. Are you going to the chippy every night? Having a beer? Staying up until 2-3am every night with the iPhone?
‘Are you doing everything right, making sure you get the right rest, stretching? It’s something I’m still getting to grips with and still learning’
Aspinall stands at 6ft 5in tall with hardly an ounce of fat to be seen on his hulking frame.
He went on: ‘For me the diet and all that stuff comes into play more with recovery, I want to put the right stuff in my body.
‘This is all stuff that I’ve learned – I’ve been dieting now for quite some time – but since my injury, I recovered so much better by listening to my nutritionist, pushing my body when it needs to be pushed, not just every day.
Aspinall has won six of his seven UFC fights and will be looking to extend that on Saturday
Aspinall now boasts a toned yet bulking figure as he prepares for his UFC title shot
‘Taking care outside the gym is something I’ve only learned over the last couple of years. Before I thought it was just about training. It’s not.
‘I train regardless of if I have a fight or not because I’m a martial artist but also an athlete.
‘I don’t have much else to do to be honest, I live and breathe this sport, the hobbies, nothing else takes up my time. I train, spent time with my kids and rest.
‘I’ve been taking rest a lot more seriously than I was before as well. Since the injury, I’ve been more aware that my body needs to rest, I need to make sure I eat the right stuff, massages, physio and all that kind of stuff.’
Inside the gym, Aspinall has also been focusing on the small gains, pulling off the excercises most men his size simply cannot.
Speaking to Men’s Health earlier this year, he said: ‘‘ lot of big guys, especially my size being like 6ft 5in and 120kg, just can’t do pull-ups, and I think it’s ridiculous.
‘I’ve got some training partners and they just straight up refuse to even try pull-ups because it’s a lot of weight.
‘But if you can pull your own bodyweight up and down, you should be able to pull someone else’s body just as easily.’
Aspinall has been dieting constantly in an attempt to get into the perfect shape for his bout
The UFC heavyweight has spoken about getting his preparation right inside and out of the gym
He has spoken about the importance of certain exercises – including pull-ups
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