UFC Fight Island 3: Alone in Quarantine, Tom Aspinall Gets Assistance from Heavyweight Legend

Tom Aspinall
Tom Aspinall Credit: Cage Warriros

For many fighters, the process of getting to Fight Island was anything but simple. Half a dozen COVID-19 checks along with two separate, two-day quarantines had some fighters a bit out of sorts and struggling to stay loose. One of the more irritating parts for British heavyweight Tom Aspinall was the fact that he couldn’t be quarantined with his coaches and/or the fighters he’d been training with who are also on this card. Both Darren Till and Mike Grundy are training partners.

“It just doesn’t really make sense. We’ve been training, I think there’s eight of us on the trip with three fighters and the coaches, and obviously the eight of us have been together every day for the last six weeks at least,” Aspinall (7-2) said, voicing his frustrations. “Then we all have to go into different rooms and we can’t see each other for three days.”

Although the frustration is clear, it isn’t as if they are still having sparring sessions at this point. Instead, Aspinall was more looking for people to do the basics with to try to keep him body limber. 

“The hard work is kind of done, really, at this point, so I’m just trying to stay loose,” he told us. “To be honest with you, I’ve had kind of a long training camp, so just basic stuff – shadowboxing, yoga, trying to move around and keep the body loose more than anything.”

And that’s where Aspinall began to lean on a heavyweight legend for help. Despite being locked alone in a room with nobody else, Aspinall looked to ‘El Guapo’ for assistance in keeping his muscles loose. 

“Last night I did some Bas Rutten workout that I found on YouTube where basically he just calls out combinations and you just throw them,” Aspinall said with a laugh. “So that was pretty easy, I didn’t even have to think I just threw the shots.”

Although it seems silly, with nobody to craft a workout for him or call out combinations, Aspinall needed a hand. Admittedly not a guy who likes to make his own workouts, even if it’s just shadowboxing, he wasn’t looking forward to doing this all on his own. As he was casually browsing through YouTube, the hand he didn’t even know he was looking for reached out to him. 

“It just came up on the YouTube recommendations thing. So I just clicked on it and then I saw it was like ten, two-minute rounds and it just called the combinations so you don’t have to really think or anything,” he said. “If I’m doing my own workout I’ll just change it five times within the workout, so this was easy. I kind of just followed what he said.”

While the workout served its purpose to keep him ready, it wasn’t without some hurdles — yet another one of Aspinall’s issues with quarantine. 

“We’re in this round and we’ve been told not to open the window. So it was f*cking hot in here, man — it was so hot,” he remarked. 

Aspinall will show of the fruits of his labor under the tutelage of his actual coach this weekend as he makes his UFC debut against Jake Collier. That fight will be part of the UFC Fight Island 3 prelims on EPSN+. 


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