It is difficult to blame him for the urgency. Nine of his 10 professional victories came in the first 95 seconds of the fight and, on average, his fights last under two and a half minutes.
Aspinall is well acquainted with the must-see prospects that came before him, to rush into high-profile fights and fall faster than they rose to their feet. It’s a fate in which he wants no part. Instead, the Salford native loves longevity.
“I want to be that guy that gets into that Top 5, Top 10, whatever, get around that title and stay there,” Aspinall said. “I don’t want to go in and out quickly. I want to learn my craft as I go rather than getting up really fast and going down even faster. I want to get up slowly and stick around for a long time. “
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While his win over Arlovski was arguably the biggest win of Aspinall’s young career, the 27-year-old was self-critical of his third UFC win.
“I don’t think this is my best performance,” Aspinall told UFC.com. “I just need more experience, and when you fight an experienced guy like Andrei, you learn a lot. Next time I will use what I learned and I will show it a bit.
Aspinall said that looking back on the fight it turned out better than he initially thought that night. He found success early on, apparently agitating Arlovski, and he then invaded him. Aspinall said he probably should have “taken a step back” instead of unleashing this insane flurry, but his ability to regain his energy in the middle of the lap is remarkable. After hanging on with Arlovski to regain some energy, Aspinall remained calm. In the second round, Aspinall timed a leg kick, fired a two-legged takedown and caught a bare back choke.
The submission was the second of Aspinall’s professional career and his first victory to come in the second round. A black belt in jiu-jitsu, Aspinall said before the fight that he didn’t really want to show off his wrestling abilities to the Division if he didn’t have to yet, but they were certainly helpful.
“It was nice to see the second round a bit,” he said. “It was nice knowing that I have the ability to almost finish someone and then be able to recover and start over. It was a good experience for me.