What Tom Aspinall wants next

Feb 20, 2021; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tom Aspinall of England punches Andrei Arlovski of Belarus in a heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mandatory Credit: Chris Unger/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports

After dispatching Andrei Arlovski on the main card of UFC Vegas 19, English heavyweight Tom Aspinall pushed his UFC record to 3-0, and collected his second $50,000 performance bonus. At the post-fight press conference, the Team Kaobon protege laid out what lies ahead.

“If I want to be the champion, which I know that I can be, I have a lot to improve on,” said Aspinall. “I want to be fighting more veterans like that because you can learn from them. I was hitting him with some clean shots. But because he’s [taken] so many shots, he knows how to ride the shots and close the distance, so you don’t land them clean. All kinds of stuff I haven’t really dealt with before, so I’d like to fight someone like him again.”

In a 22 year, 52 fight career, this was only the second time Arlovski has been submitted.  Fans who were puzzled that “The Pitbull” tapped to the choke that had no position to buttress it may be unaware that Aspinall is a BJJ black belt, has practiced martial arts since the age of 7, and that his father Andy has taught Jiu-Jitsu professionally for 16 years.

“I’ve been doing jiu-jitsu a long time,” explained Aspinall. “My dad, he’s one of the first black belts in the U.K. I’ve been in and out of jiu-jitsu basically all my life. I’ve got some jiu-jitsu, just not a lot of people know about it. I’ll just keep in the back pocket for when I need it, I think. Just like I did tonight. No one expected that. Not even me. It was just instinctive when I got him to the mat – take the back and choke.”

Fans are eager for the prospect’s next fight, and he offered multiple options.

“Maybe, give me the winner of [Aleksei Oleinik vs. Chris Daukaus, which ended up being Daukaus] big fan of both guys,” said Aspinall. “Or give me someone experienced again. I’d like that – veteran fighters that are people on kind of the backend of their career. I’m all about learning. I want to learn because I don’t have much experience. I want to get a lot of experience before I get up there. That’s what I want to do.”

UG, who do you want to see Aspinall fight next?

h/t  Nolan King and Ken Hathaway for MMA Junkie

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