Tom Aspinall, recently crowned interim UFC heavyweight champion, has found himself facing controversy shortly after his victory. Video footage emerged this week featuring Aspinall in an interview with Nina-Marie Daniele, a female mixed martial arts (MMA) reporter known for posing unconventional questions to challenge fighters in the sport.
However, in a rare cringe-worthy moment, Aspinall directed an inappropriate question toward Daniele, asking, “Have you ever been fingered by an MMA fighter?” The question left Daniele momentarily speechless.
The MMA media quickly seized upon the incident, publicly criticizing Aspinall for his questionable inquiry. Given Aspinall’s reputation as a generally upstanding individual, many speculated that there might be additional context behind the controversial question.
Fortunately, Daniele has stepped forward to clarify the situation. According to the reporter, Aspinall’s question was intended as humor, and the two share a rapport on Instagram where they encounter eccentric questions from followers. In her explanation, Daniele expressed appreciation for Aspinall’s sense of humor, stating, “He was trying to get a reaction out of me, and he got a good one. I asked him some crazy questions too!”
Despite the awkward moment, Aspinall appears to be in the clear. Following his dominant first-round knockout victory over Sergei Pavlovich at UFC 295 to claim the interim heavyweight title, Aspinall is on the verge of MMA stardom. To maintain this trajectory, it is hoped that he will refine his approach to questioning in future interactions and avoid cringe-inducing moments.