Tom Aspinall announces UFC 304 return in Manchester: “Waiting for my opponent to accept”

By Josh Evanoff - April 17, 2024

Interim UFC heavyweight champion Tom Aspinall is set to return to Manchester later this year.

Tom Aspinall raises his hands

The British heavyweight has been out of action since a short-notice fight against Sergei Pavlovich last November. Tom Aspinall famously stepped up on just two weeks’ notice, after Jon Jones suffered a torn pec. As a result, ‘Bones’, as well as his opponent, Stipe Miocic, were pulled from UFC 295.

Ultimately, Tom Aspinall scored a first-round knockout win over the Russian last November. In the process, he won interim gold as well. With Jon Jones still on the shelf, Aspinall has repeatedly called for the chance to defend his title. Earlier this month, Dana White confirmed plans to have the heavyweight do exactly that later this year.

It seems that the UFC CEO is keeping true to his word. Earlier today, Tom Aspinall took to Tiktok, to release a brief video. In the clip, the interim heavyweight champion announced that he was in Las Vegas to discuss his next fight with the UFC. It seems that talks went well, as Aspinall has signed a deal to return to the octagon.

The British heavyweight added that as of now, his opponent hasn’t signed the deal to face him. Aspinall stated that his return would take place in Manchester later this year, which has been reported to be UFC 304. That card is also expected to feature other major U.K. stars, such as welterweight champion Leon Edwards.

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Tom Aspinall

Image via: @Tomaspinalofficial on Instagram

UFC interim heavyweight champion Tom Aspinall announces return to Manchester

“Right, I’m just back from Vegas. I was over there doing YouTube stuff, meetings, all of that stuff.” Tom Aspinall stated in the video he uploaded to social media earlier today, discussing his UFC return. “I had a meeting with the UFC. It has now been confirmed that I am fighting on UFC Manchester. So, I’m back home preparing for that now.”

He continued, “I’ve started the early stages of training camp. I’m just waiting for my opponent to accept [the fight]. So stay tuned, keep up with the socials, and keep up with the YouTube channel. I’ll be announcing it very soon.”

While Tom Aspinall didn’t name an opponent in his video, it’s no mystery that he’s expected to face Curtis Blaydes next. ‘Razor’ is fresh off a knockout victory over Jailton Almeida in February at UFC 299, and called to face the interim champion. Blaydes famously handed Aspinall a first-round stoppage loss due to injury back in 2022.

What do you make of these comments from the UFC interim heavyweight champion? Who do you want to see Tom Aspinall face in his return?