Tom Aspinall makes history with UFC title win
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The 30-year-old from Atherton - who took the fight at only two-and-a-half weeks notice - needed just 69 seconds to win the bout.
A clubbing punch felled the Russian and, as Aspinall dived in to finish the job, the referee stepped in to halt the attack.
He becomes only the third Brit to win a world title in the UFC, after Michael Bisping (middleweight) and Leon Edwards (welterweight).
"It has been a crazy two and a half weeks," said Aspinall.
"If you ever get the chance to do something and you're scared to do it, you should just do it," said Aspinall, who was fighting for only the second time since a year on the sidelines with a serious knee injury.
"He's a scary guy. I've never been so scared in my life but I have power too and I believed in myself," said Aspinall.
"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."