Looking back over his first two years as a pro, light-heavyweight Clayton York has seen his game grow exponentially and it has reflected in his fights.
Since turning pro in March of 2017, York has won all of his fights, with four finishes in five victories.
“I definitely made some advancement in those first two years,” York told MMAWeekly.com. “I’m a far different athlete, a different fighter, than I was in 2017. I keep improving and getting better, and am continuing the upward trajectory that I’ve been on.
“I’m a much better wrestler. With the team that I train with, my Jiu-Jitsu is always improving. If the athlete that I am now were to fight the athlete I was two years ago it would be a pretty one-sided ass-whooping.”
When it comes to his performances, York feels that it’s best to not be too extreme one way or the other when it comes to assessing how things went and to determine what needs working on.
“I’ve had fights that I’m more happy with than others, but I think I’ve learned something every fight that I’ve been in,” said York. “Overall I’m pretty happy with all of it.
“I think if you’re always happy with what you’re doing, you’re not improving. If you’re always critical, I don’t think it’s the most beneficial way to look at your performance. It’s never as bad as you think it is; it’s never as good as you think it is; regardless of the performance there is always something you can improve on.”
This Friday in Des Moines, Iowa, York (5-0) will look to claim his first major MMA championship when he challenges for the vacant 205-pound title at LFA 60 against Julius Anglickas (5-1) in the evening’s main event.
“There’s no secrets: I’m looking to take (Anglickas) down and finish him one way or another,” said York. “I’m not going to force things. I know his wrestling is pretty good. If we happen to stand on the feet and bang it out, I think it’s pretty good there too.”
While York is trying to look at Friday’s bout like it was any other fight, he does feel his fight with Anglickas could be a pivotal moment in his career.
“I don’t think of it any differently,” said York. “The most important fight is the next one, so it’s no more important than any other fight. I’m going to come out like nothing is different.
“This is my opportunity to prove the talent that I have right now and prove what I’m capable of and show my greatness so to speak.”