UFC Fight Night: Aspinall v Tybura
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Tom Aspinall will be ready to fight whoever, and whenever, when the UFC returns to Manchester in July, but he understands why fans in the United Kingdom might be upset with the promotion in regards to when that event will begin.

UFC 304 takes place July 27 at the new Co-op Live in Manchester, England, and Aspinall is expected to defend his interim heavyweight title on that card. The problem for local fans is when Aspinall’s fight will take place, since the event will have the same start times as U.S. pay-per-views do — which means the final few fights will happen in the early morning hours of Sunday. Aspinall responded to a fan question about this very topic on his YouTube channel.

“Well, as an athlete, as a fighter, in all honesty, it doesn’t make that much difference — probably for a couple of weeks before I’ll have to wake up and train at that time, or stay up, or whatever,” Aspinall said. “I’ve flown across the world multiple times and fought on different time zones, so it’s not as bad as that.

“As a fan who wants to watch it live, I think it is absolutely terrible. I think… yeah, it’s just not fair on the fans, not fair on the U.K. fans.”

Aspinall captured the interim title with a first-round knockout against Sergei Pavlovich at UFC 295 this past November.

While he feels for his local fanbase, and would like to see the event take place for their specific time zone, as opposed to catering the U.S. audience, Aspinall is thrilled the promotion is heading back to the city.

“Obviously, it’s predominantly an American audience, so I understand that they want to sell to them,” Aspinall explained. “But why can’t they sell to them in the afternoon — which is our evening time? Why can’t the Americans watch it in the afternoon? And the U.K. fans, the Manchester fans, the European fans, can all fly to this event [and] sell out this new arena.

“I mean, it’s going to sell out regardless, mate. We’re very, very, very, very lucky to have a pay-per-view event in Manchester. Very lucky. But U.K. MMA, let’s put it on U.K. time.”

Author: Staff

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