Following a two year absence from fighting, former King of the Cage welterweight champion Aaron “Slam” Wetherspoon returned to fighting last year with a knockout win over Trace Gray at BAMMA USA Badbeat 11 last October.
“I took Trace very seriously because of the amount of fights he had and because he was very awkward and was very athletic,” said the now featherweight Wetherspoon.
“I just wanted to get into the groove of things and take my time with it, but I saw an opportunity and seized upon it and got the knockout at 4:59. I saw he got kind of laxed at the end of the round and I saw the opportunity and I took it.”
This isn’t the first time Wetherspoon has had an extended leave from MMA. In 2009, he took two years off, but this time things were different and he feels it will reflect in his performances.
“The first two years that I took off, I did a lot of conditioning, but I wasn’t in the gym as much,” he said. “This time, staying out, right after I healed up I was in the gym.
“With my best friend all we did every day, all day, was train. Body mechanics of fighting, technique, learning to study the fight game more and got the mental side of the game down more.”
Wetherspoon (9-4) will have his first fight of 2014 when he steps back into the BAMMA USA cage on March 28 in Commerce, Calif., to take on Jason Williams (5-5) in a 145-pound feature bout.
“I think (Williams is) similar to Trace, he’s athletic and had good wrestling, but I’ve been in the game a while now and I don’t get fixated on styles because people can change,” said Wetherspoon. “You never know what they could be working on, so try to be prepared for everything.
“I do, however, anticipate people trying to take me down and wear me down and I’ve prepared myself accordingly for that.”
Should Wetherspoon pick up his second win in a row on March 28, he told MMAWeekly.com the goal thereafter will be to build himself up to be able to get to the next level of MMA.
“I just go fight-by-fight,” he said. “As a fighter you live day-by-day, so it’s not necessarily years. So I think I need a couple more showings before I get to the big show.
“Get getting work, taking every opponent serious and going in there and putting on a good fight, regardless of the finish, is the most important thing to me. I want to be somebody that people want to come watch.”