In a revealing statement, UFC interim heavyweight champion Tom Aspinall shared insights into his encounter with Alex Pereira, indicating that Pereira exuded confidence and was sizing him up for a potential fight. Pereira, a formidable force in the UFC, has swiftly risen through the ranks, claiming the middleweight and light heavyweight titles.
Aspinall recounted their meeting in New York, describing Pereira as “quite frosty” during their initial interaction. The revelation came after the press conference where Aspinall sensed Pereira’s belief that he could defeat him.
“Well listen to this right. We are in New York. He was quite frosty when we first met. We went and did the press conference. I am sitting here, and he is there. Got off the press conference, and I said, ‘Oh, like how it was. I said you know that’s Alex Pereira. He said yeah. I said he thinks he can beat me, you know,” Aspinall shared.
The 29-year-old Englishman admitted feeling a competitive vibe from Pereira, reminiscent of an opponent sizing up a potential adversary. As the conversation unfolded, Aspinall expressed his belief that Pereira was gauging him, a sentiment that intensified upon hearing Pereira’s interest in moving up to the heavyweight division.
“I literally could feel off him that. I almost got the feeling from him like I would get from an opponent. I just felt like maybe I am making this up in my mind. When I heard he wants to move to Heavyweight I was not surprised. I felt he was sizing me up a little bit,” Aspinall added.
Both fighters participated in UFC 295 on November 11 in New York, where Pereira headlined the event with a victory over Jiri Prochazka for the vacant light heavyweight belt. Aspinall, in the co-main event, impressively defeated Sergei Pavlovich.
Aspinall, now holding the interim belt, has expressed his desire to face UFC heavyweight Jon Jones, although Jones is currently recovering from an injury. The looming question of the next title challenger remains, with speculation about a potential showdown between Aspinall and Jones or former champion Stipe Miocic.