Tom Aspinall is officially on the road to recovery. Aspinall updated fans on his condition after suffering a knee injury in the opening moments of his UFC London headliner against Curtis Blaydes on July 22.
Blaydes vs. Aspinall was set up as a make-or-break moment for Aspinall. A surging heavyweight contender buoyed by the support of his countrymen and women, Aspinall was likely headed to a UFC heavyweight title fight with a win over Blaydes. Unfortunately, Aspinall took a bad step 15 seconds into the fight and his knee gave out.
“Morning everybody, today is surgery day. I’m in London right now and I’m absolutely starving because I can’t eat before surgery,” Aspinall said in a Twitter video posted on Wednesday. “I have suffered a torn MCL, a torn meniscus and some ACL damage.
“So, gonna get that fixed today but just a quick message to say thank you for the support. I really appreciate it. I’ve had so much love since the accident.”
Blaydes was officially awarded a TKO victory at 0:15 of Round 1. The opponents and their camps shared a drink afterwards.
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Anthony Smith had a tough night against Magomed Ankalaev at UFC 277. Much like Aspinall, Smith suffered a serious leg injury in the opening round of his fight. Smith suffered a fracture that impeded his ability to fight back. UFC president Dana White confirmed the broken leg after Tuesday’s “Contender Series” episode. “He did break his leg — his leg was broken. They ended up finding the fracture in his leg. I guess it was in a weird place, hard to find… He legitimately has a break in his leg that is going to need surgery.” Ankalaev ultimately won the fight via second-round TKO.Top-five flyweights are expected to collide at UFC Fight Night on Oct. 15. The promotion is targeting Askar Askarov vs. Brandon Royval. Jason House, Royval’s manager at Iridium Sports Agency, announced the fight on Wednesday. The matchup was subsequently reported by MMA Junkie. Askarov (14-1-1) suffered the first loss of his career in a competitive title eliminator with Kai Kara-France in March. Royval is coming off consecutive wins over Matt Schnell and Rogerio Bontorin.
Tracy Cortez vs. Amanda Ribas is set for Dec. 3. Cortez and RIbas will compete in the UFC women’s flyweight division, per ESPN Deportes. No venue or location has been announced. Cortez (10-1) has been perfect in her four-fight UFC run and is undefeated since losing her pro debut in April 2017. Ribas (11-3) appeared to be one of UFC’s more promising female talents before suffering setbacks against Marina Rodriguez and Katlyn Chookagian. She has alternated wins and losses in her last four fights.