firstname.lastname@example.org (Chisanga Malata)
Tom Aspinall insists he wants to gain as much experience as possible before mixing it with the heavyweight division’s elite.
The Wigan warrior made his long-awaited debut in July against veteran Jake Collier at UFC on ESPN 14 in Abu Dhabi.
Aspinall put the entire division on notice with a stunning 45-second TKO victory, which earned him a £37,000 Performance of the Night bonus.
But the former Cage Warriors star is wary of jumping in the deep end so early into his UFC career.
“For the next three or four fights, I’d just like to fight unranked guys,” Aspinall said. “Guys who around my level and are up-and-comers.
“Even guys who are on their way down and have been in the top ten and are coming towards the end of their careers. I’d just like to build my way up.
“I see a lot of guys who get a big win against a big name and they shoot up in the top ten and they’re not ready for it. I don’t want to be one of those guys.”
The UFC jitters weren’t an issue for 27-year-old Aspinall, who said: “It was just the same as any other time I’ve fought.
“I was just relieved that everything went well. It’s a dangerous sport. So any time you can win and get away uninjured, it’s just pure relief.
“I expected to win. I wouldn’t go into a fight that I didn’t think I was going to win. Obviously I was excited and I was happy that I won, but I was happier that nothing went wrong.”
Aspinall will be back in the octagon in October at UFC Fight Night 180, where he’ll lock horns with fellow prospect Sergey Spivak.
The Team Kaobon ace is a fan of ‘The Polar Bear’ but believes his skill set will prove to be too much for the Moldovan to handle.
He said: “If I use my skills properly, there should be no way that this guy should beat me.”