"Going to be playing the role of a duck?" - Fans react as Tom Aspinall states Ciryl Gane turned down fight due to movie role 

Tom Aspinall
Ciryl Gane (pictured) is reportedly filming a movie which reportedly kept him from accepting a UFC 304 title fight against Tom Aspinall [Image Courtesy: @ciryl_gane on X]

Tom Aspinall was supposed to fight Ciryl Gane this summer, however, the reported reason for the delay, as revealed by the interim champion himself, has many MMA fans sounding off online.

Aspinall will defend his interim UFC heavyweight title against the only man to have garnered a victory over him inside the UFC cage. The 31-year-old will face Curtis Blaydes in a rematch at UFC 304 in the co-main event set to go down in Manchester, England.

Blaydes initially defeated Aspinall by way of a 15-second injury-based stoppage with Aspinall inauspiciously crumpling from what seemed clear to be from a pre-fight hindrance.

Gane is a former UFC interim heavyweight champion in his own right but it appears the two-time lineal title challenger isn't able to fight due to the French fighter filming a movie, as per Aspinall.

Opening up on the subject in a video on his YouTube channel, Aspinall said (via ESPN MMA):

"The UFC wanted me to fight Ciryl Gane. I said 'OK'... But he didn't take the fight. He wanted to do his film".

This information had several mixed martial arts enthusiasts on X offering up their thoughts with tweets on the matter building up since the details dropped.

@What_a_Bets said:

"Is Ciryl going to be playing the role of a duck?"

@boberic69 stated:

"He shouldn't have been offered in the first place"

Check out some more fan reactions below:

[Images Courtesy: @espnmma tweet thread on X]
[Images Courtesy: @espnmma tweet thread on X]

Tom Aspinall and times that UFC interim heavyweight belts have been defended

The native of England is in a fairly uncommon situation but he is not the only champion with an interim belt to have entered the cage to defend it inside the octagon.

Andrei Arlovski was the interim UFC heavyweight champion close to 20 years ago after beating Tim Sylvia in their first fight at UFC 51 to claim the interim belt. This occurred at a time when lineal heavyweight champion Frank Mir was sidelined due to a series of injuries he sustained in a road accident.

Arlovski would defend his interim belt against Justin Eilers with a first-round striking-based stoppage at UFC 53 in June 2005. 'The Pitbull' had his belt upgraded to undisputed status thereafter once it became clear Mir would be unable to return promptly enough due to the severity of his still lingering injuries.

In another interim UFC heavyweight title defense Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira defended gold that he had also won from Tim Sylvia. 'Big Nog' would lose the strap to Frank Mir at UFC 92 who then went on to fight lineal champion Brock Lesnar in a blockbuster title unification bout at UFC 100 thereafter.


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