Tom Aspinall sought help from one of the best rehab doctors in the country.
Aspinall (12-3 MMA, 5-1 UFC), who blew out his knee in a TKO loss to Curtis Blaydes in July, says he’s been working with the same doctor who used to work with international soccer legend Cristiano Ronaldo.
The heavyweight contender has no exact timetable for his return, but won’t rush his comeback.
“I got my surgery off the best surgeon in the U.K. – the top rehab guy in the U.K.,” Aspinall said in an interview with Midnite. “He used to be Cristiano Ronaldo’s rehab guy. He’s seriously up there in the rehab world, and it feels great right now. I’ve been suffering with this knee injury for a long time. It feels way better than it has for a long time.
“Before, I had a knee injury – and no one knew I had a knee injury. Now I have the knee injury and everyone knows about it, so me as a high-level UFC fighter – I know how other high-level UFC fighters think. If I was fighting an opponent with a knee injury, 100 percent I’d be attacking that knee. No question about it, and I know people will be doing the same to me. So I’ll only return when I’m 100 percent confident in taking kicks to the knee off other guys my size or heavier. There’s no way I’ll come back any earlier. I need to make sure I’m 100 percent before I am booking a fight.”
Aspinall’s injury appeared to happen after he threw a right kick to Blaydes’ thigh, which forced him to step back and hit the canvas. But the 29-year-old British fighter said his knee has been bothering him for years.
“I’ve had the bad knee for at least three years, maybe longer,” Aspinall said. “There’s been a lot of stuff I’ve not been able to do. I’ve been getting through the fights obviously well. I’ve been getting through the training camps pretty well for the most part. But maybe I got a bit too overconfident. Maybe I gambled one time too many when I knew I had a knee injury. I can’t be doing these high-level training camps with a knee injury. I’ve got to take care of my physical health as well as my mental health – don’t just keep getting pressured into doing these fights when I know that I’m injured. So lesson learned from now on. That’s why I’m not going back until I’m 100 percent.”