Ngannou became an inspiration: Tom Aspinall wants to box, He gave an ultimatum to UFC

A well-known name in the UFC wants to try boxing

by Sededin Dedovic
Ngannou became an inspiration: Tom Aspinall wants to box, He gave an ultimatum to UFC
© Sarah Stier / Getty Images

Francis Ngannou's persistent pursuit of a boxing match against Tyson Fury has seemingly sparked a domino effect within the UFC heavyweight division, with Tom Aspinall now expressing his desire to step into the squared circle.

Ngannou's decision to leave the UFC and pursue a boxing career was met with skepticism and criticism, but his eventual success against Fury has seemingly opened the floodgates for other fighters to explore similar opportunities.

Aspinall, the UFC's interim heavyweight champion, is particularly frustrated by the UFC's plan to delay a potential unification bout between Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic until summer 2024. This extended wait has prompted Aspinall to consider boxing as an alternative.

Aspinall doesn't want to wait for Jon Jones to return

Drawing inspiration from Ngannou's successful foray into boxing, Aspinall believes that a boxing match would allow him to remain active and pursue his dreams while waiting for the UFC to arrange a suitable MMA matchup.

"If I can make a deal with the UFC, I would also do a boxing match. I really like that idea. I want to be active. I had a year off due to a knee injury. I made a successful comeback and looked pretty good in the last two matches.

I'm in a very good position now, but let's keep moving forward. I don't want to wait for Jon Jones" said Aspinall. Aspinall's boxing background, including his first-round knockout victory over Tamas Bajzath in 2017, makes him a potential draw in the boxing world.

His status as a UFC heavyweight champion further enhances his appeal to boxing promoters. While Aspinall's desire to box may not be as strong as Ngannou's, it signifies a growing movement among UFC fighters to explore opportunities beyond of the organization.

Ngannou's success has emboldened these fighters to pursue their ambitions. The UFC, facing increasing pressure from its fighters, may need to adapt its approach to fighter compensation and matchmaking to prevent further defections.

Ngannou's pioneering move has undoubtedly influenced Aspinall's boxing aspirations, and it remains to be seen how this trend will evolve in the future.