Tom Aspinall reveals how Leon Edwards WILL retain title at UFC 296

EXCLUSIVE Tom Aspinall predicts Leon Edwards WILL retain his UFC welterweight title against Colby Covington at UFC 296 – as heavyweight champion reveals how ‘Rocky’ will ‘outsmart’ the American

  • On Saturday night, Leon Edwards will defend his belt against Colby Covington 
  • Tom Aspinall revealed to Mail Sport who he thinks will claim victory on the night 
  • Will 18-year-old Moses Itauma break Mike Tyson’s record by becoming the youngest ever heavyweight champion? Listen to The Hook 

Tom Aspinall has predicted that Leon Edwards will ‘outsmart’ Colby Covington in their UFC welterweight title fight and retain his belt. 

Edwards and Covington will share the octagon at the T-Mobile Arena in Nevada on Saturday night in the main event of a highly-anticipated UFC 296 card. 

It’ll be Edwards’ second-ever UFC title defence, after he stormed to a majority decision victory over Kamaru Usman at the O2 Arena in March. 

While some have tipped ‘Rocky’ to have a difficult time against Covington – who’s last appearance in the octagon was in March 2022 – Aspinall has backed his compatriot to get the job done in Nevada. 

Speaking exclusively to Mail Sport, the UFC heavyweight champion said: ‘I think he’s [Edwards] got a massive chance of winning. I think he’s definitely going to win. 

Tom Aspinall has predicted that Leon Edwards (R) will ‘outsmart’ Colby Covington (L) when the two clash in UFC 296’s main event on Saturday night

‘I think that Leon is massively underappreciated, as a UK champion. The guy’s absolutely incredibly so smart in the Octagon makes amazing decisions. 

‘I think he’s gonna outsmart Colby Covington. Like he’s way more slick. He’s just like a smooth, slick operator. 

‘I’m a big fan of Leon, his style and his approach to the game and everything. And yeah, he’s just going to outsmart Colby. 

‘Colby is a great fighter in his own right, but I believe that Leon is way smarter than him’.

The UFC 296 card has been one the most talked about cards in 2023 – with a number of prominent British fighters featuring on the night. 

As well as Edwards and Covington’s bout, Liverpudlian fighter Paddy ‘The Baddy’ Pimblett will also be making a return to the octagon on the night. 

Pimblett will take on UFC veteran Tony Ferguson in a lightweight bout on the main card, with many fans excited for the mouth-watering match-up. 

Edwards defended his belt for the first time when he faced Kamaru Usman back in March

Aspinall asserted that Edwards is ‘massively underappreciated’ within the MMA community

Weighing in on the bout, Aspinall – once again – backed his compatriot to earn victory on the night and suggested that Pimblett will win ‘pretty handily’.  

He said: ‘I think the Baddy takes it. I think that if someone’s coming in off six losses and Paddy’s coming in off around six seven wins… 

‘I know Paddy’s off the back of surgery and everything but I think that Paddy is way younger and fresher than Tony Ferguson. Ferguson has got a lot of miles on a clock. 

‘Granted, he’s a really good fighter but I think he’s time as fighting young and fresh guys is over for him and I think that he’s going to win that fight pretty handily’.

Having recently won the UFC’s interim heavyweight championship, it’s fair to say that Aspinall has a decent understanding of what it takes to claim gold. 

In the same interview, Aspinall admitted that he has no interest in a boxing match while he waits to unify his interim heavyweight title. 

Paddy ‘The Baddy’ Pimblett will also feature on the highly-anticipated UFC 296 card

Aspinall has tipped Pimblett for victory when he takes on UFC veteran Tony Ferguson

Rumours had circulated that Aspinall – who has previously trained with heavyweight king Tyson Fury – would be open to stepping inside the boxing ring while he awaits a unification bout. 

However, when pressed on the matter again, the Mancunian distanced himself from the idea and suggested that ‘headlines’ got ‘messed up’ during that week.  

When asked whether he was genuinely intending to step into the boxing ring, Aspinall said: ‘No, it’s not serious. See, this is where headlines and actual interviews get messed up a little bit. 

‘If you watch the interview when I was talking about the boxing thing, somebody just asked me would you be interested in boxing? Like, in the meantime. 

‘I was like “Yeah, I guess”. That’s all I said on it! It wasn’t like I wasn’t coming out saying “I want to box now” because I’m not going to box. 

Aspinall also insisted his current goal is to unify his UFC heavyweight title won in November

‘I’ve got so much work to do in the UFC and I don’t want to be one of these fighters who thinks I’ve done enough work because I’ve got a title.

‘I want to fight for the undisputed title is what I want to do. That’s my goal. And I want to fight a couple of these legends before they retire. 

‘Mate, I’ve got so much work to do over the next… however long, before I even thinking about boxing. So right now, I’m definitely not trying to box. 

‘Do I want to box before the end of my career? Probably but, if I don’t, I’m alright with that as well’. 

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