Tom Aspinall suffers fluke knee injury, loses by TKO to Curtis Blaydes in UFC London headliner

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Tom Aspinall of England reacts after suffering an apparent injury against Curtis Blaydes in a heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at O2 Arena on July 23, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Tom Aspinall collapsed in pain after injuring his knee 15 seconds into his fight versus Curtis Blaydes. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

For the second consecutive week, a promising UFC main event was curtailed early because of a fluke injury to one of the fighters. This one, though, was even harder to take than last week’s featherweight bout between Yair Rodriguez and Brian Ortega because it didn’t even get a chance to get going.

Heavyweight Tom Aspinall suffered an injury to his right knee after kicking Curtis Blaydes and stepping back as Blaydes fired a punch at him. When Aspinall took a step back, something gave in his knee and he shrieked in pain. Referee Herb Dean stopped it at 15 seconds in the first round.

A week earlier, Ortega dislocated his shoulder near the end of the first round as he was attempting to defend an arm bar. That fight went four minutes, 11 seconds and saw some competitive action.

This one was over almost as soon as it began. They came out aggressively attacking each other. Aspinall landed the kick with his right leg to Blaydes’ left thigh. Blaydes fired a punch at him and Aspinall stepped back.

He clutched his knee as soon as he did and the fight was over. UFC Hall of Famer Michael Bisping, broadcasting the fight for ESPN, asked a ringside physician what he though the injury may have been. The doctor told Bisping they suspected an injury to the medial collateral ligament.

Officially, it goes into the record books as a TKO for Blaydes.