Nobody wants a main event to finish like this.
American UFC fighter Curtis Blaydes has claimed a first-round TKO victory over England rival Tom Aspinall at London’s O2 Arena, with the bout ending in “heartbreaking” circumstances.
Just 15 seconds into the highly-anticipated heavyweight contest, Aspinall caught Blaydes with a leg kick before the British star stepped back and dropped the canvas in agony, clutching at his right knee.
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The referee immediately waved off the fight, with a baffled Blaydes uncertain whether or not to celebrate his shock triumph.
Aspinall, meanwhile, rolled on the deck in utter agony as medical staff rushed into the Octagon, having suffered a suspected MCL injury. The 29-year-old was eventually able to return to his feet after being put in a stint, but struggled to put any weight on his right leg.
It was Aspinall’s first defeat since May 2016.
“It‘s almost like we didn’t even fight,” a dejected Blaydesconfessed.
“I wanted to come here and make a statement. I know a win over him would have shown the world that I‘m ready for a title shot, that I’m legit.
“I wish the injury hadn‘t happened. We never really got an opportunity to showcase our skills.”
Former UFC champion Michael Bisping told BT Sport: “It is awful. I had a quick chat with the doctor and he thinks it‘s the MCL. It’s an extremely agonising injury.
“Tom is a warrior, Curtis is all class and it‘s so sad.
“Injuries happen, it‘s a freak occurrence but it’s sometimes part of the sport.”
MMA reporter Andy Stevenson tweeted: “Just awful for Tom Aspinall. Terrible situation for Blaydes too. Just a s***ty situation.”
Blaydes’ professional record subsequently improves to 17-3.