Morning Report: Tom Aspinall ‘not a bully,’ but welcomes Alex Pereira fight at UFC 300 if offered

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UFC 300 is getting bigger and bigger with each fight announcement.

Dana White last spoiled the fans with the surprising first-ever BMF title defense between the champion Justin Gaethje and Max Holloway at lightweight. Therefore, the super-event now has two title fights currently on tap after the strawweight title tilt between Zhang Weili and Yan Xiaonan was previously made official.

A third title fight is expected to be added to UFC 300’s expanding eight-fight lineup on April 13. Plenty of speculation has surrounded the possibility of the light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira making his first title defense on the night. It’s just a matter of who it’s against.

Well, the wacky and fantastical option is clearly the interim heavyweight champion Tom Aspinall, who would give Pereira the chance at again making history if he could become the first three-division champion in promotional history with a win. That matchup still feels like a major stretch despite the surprising announcement of Gaethje vs. Holloway. If the UFC comes calling though, Aspinall will answer.

“If he wants to, I will,” Aspinall said of Pereira on his YouTube channel. “But I’m going on record and saying I’m not a bully. I don’t bully smaller guys. But, if the smaller guy wants a scrap, count me in.”

Aspinall, 30, has found himself in one of the more frustrating situations any interim champion has ever been in throughout MMA history. After winning his crown with a 69-second knockout of Sergei Pavlovich at UFC 295 last November, the aforementioned UFC CEO White insisted that the undisputed champion Jon Jones will still defend against Stipe Miocic upon his return from a torn pectoral muscle — the only reason Aspinall vs. Pavlovich happened in the first place.

With all that in mind, Aspinall has expressed that he’s open to fighting whatever would be the most logical next option, which pointed him to the winner of Curtis Blaydes vs. Jailton Almeida at UFC 299 in March. Meanwhile, at light heavyweight, Pereira awaits Jamahal Hill to return from a ruptured achilles tendon and Magomed Ankalaev continues to make his case for the next title shot after his recent second-round knockout of Johnny Walker at UFC Vegas 84 last Saturday.


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The MMA Hour.

UFC 297 Media Day.

Embedded 3.

UFC In-Depth: Adesanya vs. Strickland.

Sexyama things.


No Bets Barred. MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew, Connor Burks, and Alex K. Lee discuss Sean Strickland vs. Dricus Du Plessis and the best bets for UFC 297.



Home.

BMF attempt.

Frenemies.

It couldn’t be made any more clear that she doesn’t want to and will never fight for PFL.

Rating time.

Turnaround needed.

Support.

Immaculate.

Comeback trail.

The most PowerSlap thing ever. Good for him, though.

Tease.

Poster drop.


Yusuke Yachi (25-13) vs. Kyung Pyo Kim (13-4); RIZIN Landmark 8, Feb. 24

Ayaka Hamasaki (24-6) vs. Claire Lopez (8-5); RIZIN Landmark 8, Feb. 24

Takahiro Ashida (26-13-2) vs. Hiroaki Suzuki (3-3); RIZIN Landmark 8, Feb. 24

Kenta Takizawa (13-10) vs. Shohei Nose (11-4-2); RIZIN Landmark 8, Feb. 24

Daichi Abe (12-7) vs. Kota Shirakawa (4-4); RIZIN Landmark 8, Feb. 24

Ariane Lipski (17-8) vs. Karine Silva (17-4); UFC Vegas 90, April 27


As far as the first half of 2024 goes globally, February 24 is going to be the best day for MMA. UFC Mexico, PFL vs. Bellator, and RIZIN Landmark 8. Talk about the spoils, folks.

Thanks for reading!


Poll

Do you want to see Tom Aspinall vs. Alex Pereira added to UFC 300?


If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @DrakeRiggs_ on Twitter and let him know about it. Also, follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.



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