It’s hard to blame him for the urgency. Nine of his 10 professional wins have come inside the first 95 seconds of the fight and, on average, his fights last less than two-and-a-half minutes.
Aspinall is well-acquainted with the can’t-miss prospects who came before him, only to rush into big-time fights and fall out faster than they rose. It’s a fate of which he wants no part. Instead, the Salford native is keen on longevity.
“I want to be that guy who is getting into that Top 5, Top 10, whatever, getting around that title and staying there,” Aspinall said. “I don’t want to be in and out quick. I want to be learning my craft as I’m going as opposed to just getting up really quick and going down even quicker. I want to be getting up slow and sticking around for a long time.”
Solidifying His Name As One To Watch
Even though his win over Arlovski was certainly the biggest win of Aspinall’s young career, the 27-year-old was self-critical of his third win in the UFC.
“I don’t think it was my best performance,” Aspinall told UFC.com. “I just need more experience, and when you’re fighting an experienced guy like Andrei, you learn a lot from it. Next time, I’m going to use what I learned, and I’m going to show that a little bit.”
Aspinall did say, upon re-watching the fight, it went better than he initially thought that night. He found success early, seemingly rattling Arlovski, and he subsequently swarmed him. Aspinall said he probably should’ve “taken a step back” instead of unleashing that mad flurry, but his ability to recover his energy in the middle of the round is notable. After clinching with Arlovski to regain some energy, Aspinall remained composed. In the second round, Aspinall timed a leg kick, shot a double-leg takedown and snatched up a rear-naked choke.
The submission was the second of Aspinall’s pro career and his first win to come in the second round. A jiu-jitsu black belt, Aspinall said before the fight he didn’t really want to show off his grappling abilities to the division if he didn’t have to just yet, but they certainly came in handy.
“It was nice to see the second (round) a little bit,” he said. “It was nice to know I do have the ability to nearly finish someone, and then be able to recover, and go again. It was a good experience for me.”