A pair of top 15 ranked UFC heavyweights will throw down next March.
ESPN was first to report the news that No. 8 ranked heavyweight Shamil Abdurakhimov will fight No. 11 ranked Tom Aspinall on March 19 at a yet-to-be-announced UFC event. A source close to the situation subsequently confirmed the fight to Cageside Press.
Aspinall (11-2) has been on absolute fire since debuting in the UFC in 2020 and has received a Performance of the Night bonus in three of his four fights so far. In his most recent outing, he defeated his first ranked fighter, Sergey Spivak, via first-round TKO. Before Spivak, he submitted UFC legend Andrei Arlovski at UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Lewis in February. In his rookie year, Aspinall finished Jake Collier and Alan Baudot in under two minutes.
Abdurakhimov (20-6) is riding the first two-fight losing streak of his career. After taking 2020 off due to injuries and visa issues, the Russian fighter returned to action against Chris Daukaus at UFC 266 in September. He lost the fight via second-round knockout. Before his most recent loss, he was finished by Curtis Blaydes at UFC 242 in 2019, snapping his three-fight win streak.
No location, venue, or broadcast plan has been officially announced for the March 19, 2022 event. However, the UFC is looking to go back to the United Kingdom, so there is a chance this fight takes place in Aspinall’s home country.
No other fights have been reported for the March card besides Tom Aspinall vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov.