UFC 295 results: Tom Aspinall stuns Sergei Pavlovich to become interim heavyweight champion

Night to remember: Tom Aspinall joins an exclusive club of British UFC champions (Getty Images)
Night to remember: Tom Aspinall joins an exclusive club of British UFC champions (Getty Images)

Britain's Tom Aspinall became the UFC's interim heavyweight champion with a stunning early knockout of Sergei Pavlovich at Madison Square Garden.

The Salford-based MMA star needed just 69 seconds to dispatch his formidable Russian opponent with a ruthless display of striking power in the co-main event at UFC 295 in New York on Saturday night.

Aspinall only took his first UFC title fight at short notice, called up to the event on October 25 after a pectoral injury sustained by current UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones saw his proposed title defence against Stipe Miocic cancelled.

But the 30-year-old took his chance to stun a fancied opponent who had amassed an impressive six-fight winning streak since his only previous professional defeat by Alistair Overeem in 2018, becoming just the third British fighter ever to hold a belt in the UFC.

Birmingham's Leon Edwards currently reigns as the welterweight champion after back-to-back wins over Kamaru Usman, while the now-retired Michael Bisping also held the middleweight title after his shock victory over Luke Rockhold in 2016.

Aspinall, who now wants to fight all-time great Jones for the full title when he's recovered from surgery and a predicted eight-month layoff, told TNT Sports: "It has been a crazy two-and-a-half weeks.

"I want to tell everyone at home, If you ever get the chance to do something and you're scared to do it, you should just do it.

"He's a scary guy. I've never been so scared in my life but I have power too and I believed in myself.

"I've worked so hard over the years and no one has worked harder than my father so this belt is dedicated to him.

"I was struggling with the distance a little bit but we got there in the end."

In the main event at UFC 295, former middleweight champion Alex Pereira picked up the vacant light-heavyweight belt with a second-round stoppage of Jiri Prochazka, becoming just the ninth person ever to win UFC world titles in two different weight classes in the process.

Fellow Brazilian Jessica Andrade stopped Mackenzie Dern in a women's strawweight bout, while there were also first-round knockouts for lightweight contender Benoit Saint-Denis and featherweight Diego Lopes against Matt Frevola and Pat Sabatini respectively to open the main card.

There were also wins for Steve Erceg, Loopy Godinez, Mateusz Rebecki and Nazim Sadykhov in the prelims, plus Jared Gordon, John Castaneda, Joshua Van and Jamall Emmers.