UFC heavyweight contender Tom Aspinall is taking inspiration from a former superstar in another major sport as he works his way back to the Octagon.
Aspinall suffered a devastating leg injury that ended his fight against Curtis Blaydes abruptly at UFC London just weeks ago. He recently went under the knife and is expected to be out for an estimated timeframe of 8-10 months.
Aspinall’s injury was the latest in a series of nasty injuries suffered by UFC fighters in recent years. This includes Conor McGregor, Brian Ortega, and Chris Weidman all suffering from in-fight injuries that quickly brought a halt to the action.
Aspinall is still in the grieving process of his injury and has looked for inspiration to get him into a positive, forward-thinking mindset following this setback. While he isn’t well-versed in other sports outside of combat, he’s paid close attention to a recently deceased super-athlete that changed how a lot of us view the mental side of athletics.
Tom Aspinall Details Mentality Following Leg Surgery
During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, Aspinall explained how the late, great basketball legend Kobe Bryant has helped him work through the trials of battling back from his injury.
“Obviously I’m a UK guy, basketball for us… we don’t have basketball, I don’t know anything about basketball really,” Aspinall said. “But the guy, Kobe…I saw a documentary on him when he snapped his Achilles tendon and people were like completing writing him off. And he came back and did what he did and obviously was a legendary basketball player…
“I really, really enjoyed that; it was great to watch. I took a lot of inspiration from that for sure.”
Before the loss to Blaydes, Aspinall had won eight straight fights, including over the likes of Alexander Volkov and Sergey Spivak. A win over Blaydes could’ve likely given him a title eliminator bout.
Bryant passed away in Jan. 2020 in a helicopter accident in the Los Angeles, CA area. His daughter Gianna, along with seven others, passed away as a result of the incident.
Aspinall may not know a lot about Bryant’s on-the-court accolades, though it’s clear that he’s using Bryant as a centerpiece to his planned UFC comeback.
Will Tom Aspinall bounce back in a big way after his recovery from leg surgery?