Tom Aspinall says UFC 304 start time ‘just not fair’ for U.K. fans

UFC interim heavyweight champion Tom Aspinall feels for the U.K. fans who will have to pull an all-nighter to attend UFC 304.

The pay-per-view event will take place July 27 in the newly built Co-op Live arena in Manchester, England. The prelims will start at 6 p.m. ET (11 p.m. BST) and the main card at 10 p.m. ET (3 a.m. BST) on ESPN+ pay-per-view, following the traditional start times for U.S. pay-per-views.

While Aspinall (14-3 MMA, 7-1 UFC) doesn’t mind fighting in the middle of the night, he can see how it’ll be less than ideal for the fans in attendance.

“As an athlete, as a fighter, in all honesty it doesn’t make that much difference,” Aspinall said on his YouTube channel. “Probably for a couple of weeks before I’ll have to wake up and train at that time or stay up or whatever. I’ve flown across the world multiple times and fought in different time zones. So, it’s not as bad as that. As a fan who wants to watch it live, I think it is absolutely terrible. It’s just not fair on the fans, not fair on the U.K. fans.

“Predominantly it’s an American audience, so I understand that they want to sell to them. But why can’t they sell to them in the afternoon, which is our evening time? Why can’t the Americans watch it in the afternoon and the U.K. fans, the Manchester fans, the European fans can all fly to the event and sell out this new arena. I mean, it’s going to sell out regardless. We’re very, very, very lucky to have a pay-per-view in Manchester. Very lucky, but U.K. MMA, let’s put it on U.K. time.”

Aspinall is expected to compete on the card but is yet to have a fight officially booked. He expressed interest in running things back with Curtis Blaydes, who handed him the lone loss of his career. Aspinall injured his knee 18 seconds into his July 2022 headliner vs. Blaydes in London.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 304.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie