Chael Sonnen wants Tom Aspinall to stop being so humble during interviews, because it's screwing up the UFC's plans to turn him into the next big heavyweight star.
Aspinall is currently set to headline his second UFC event in London this year. He won his first in March against Alexander Volkov with ease, submitting the No. 6 ranked 'Drago' with a straight arm bar in the first round. Next he'll face No. 4 ranked Curtis Blaydes when the UFC returns to the O2 Arena on July 23.
According to Sonnen, Aspinall needs to start talking like a future champion because the UFC is clearly positioning him as one. In a new YouTube video, Sonnen said:
"Aspinall does interviews like a 13-year old fan ... Aspinall cuts an interview that he should not receive a title shot. Somebody else should, he's not ready for it. All right. We got a young guy who wants to show a sense of humility who never should have done an interview that said that. But everybody's gotta have a mistake before they can make a correction."
Unfortunately, no correction was made and Aspinall once again downplayed his title ambitions in Sonnen's eyes. He talked up a potential Francis Ngannou vs. Tyson Fury boxing bout on The MMA Hour, rather than talking up an Aspinall vs. Ngannou fight. Sonnen was so upset he revoked a theoretical offer to step in and handle Aspinall's promotion:
"If I had time and he hadn't pissed me off so bad, I would offer 'Don't ever say anything else, every interview and press conference that you go to, I will show up with a bullhorn and make a whole big scene of it. You stand there and don't say anything, I will have you fighting for the belt within 12 months.' That's the plan anyway that you're getting in the way of!"
Watch Chael Sonnen discuss Tom Aspinall below:
With Tom Aspinall on the cusp of breaking into the top three with a win over Curtis Blaydes and the UK having such a massive growth potential at the moment, Sonnen is right. The UFC clearly wants to make their British heavyweight the next big thing, especially as Francis Ngannou prepares to walk out the door for boxing.
Tom Aspinall thinks Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou would be "closer than people might think"
The interview that had Chael Sonnen so disgusted was Tom Aspinall's recent appearance on The MMA Hour. Aspinall has some rather unique insight on a Francis Ngannou vs. Tyson Fury mixed rules fight because he used to train and spar with Fury leading up to 'The Gypsy King's' successful comeback in 2018.
“I want to see it with MMA gloves, because I actually believe — usually I’m rooting for Tyson and of course I would be in this one, but if Francis hits with them little gloves, he is so dangerous. He’s very unorthodox and I think that if Fury was going to lose to anyone in boxing, it would have been [Deontay] Wilder because he’s so unorthodox. And I think a similar kind of thing with Francis. And if you alter the rules slightly and put Tyson with the smaller gloves, I think it’s a little bit closer than people might think.”
Watch Tom Aspinall discuss Fury vs. Ngannou below: