Cage Warriors 48's Aaron Wilkinson targeting weekend win, UFC return
Englishman Aaron Wilkinson doesn't watch as much soccer as he used to because of his training requirements, but he still follows his beloved Manchester United whenever he gets the chance.
"I don't watch enough football to be honest," Wilkinson told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "I used to be a big fan, but don't have as much time now with MMA. I still keep my eye on it and watch games when I get a chance.
"But I'm always busy with MMA. And I'm real busy in the week, so when I get the chance I got to take my girl out and the baby. I got to see them. I can't really say to my girl that I'm not going to do anything (with you), that I'm going to watch football, and I'll see you afterward."
The 25-year-old Wilkinson, who resides in the English town of Irlam, has as much pride in England's growing MMA scene as it internationally renowned soccer platform.
"Overall the level (of training) is a bit higher in America, but we have a few camps here that are just as good if not better than some of the American camps to be honest," said Wilkinson (9-5), who said he's fully prepared for Saturday's Cage Warriors 48 welterweight bout with Leigh Cohoon (8-5).
Cage Warriors 48 takes place at HMV Forum in London, and a total of five main-card bouts stream live on MMAjunkie.com, including a headliner between middleweight-tournament semifinalists John Phillips (15-5) vs. Faycal Hucin (7-3), beginning at 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT).
Wilkinson, who got his start at the same Wolfslair Academy as Michael Bisping, said he took a new approach to training for Cohoon for their main-card bout.
"I kind of went back to the drawing board a little bit, changed a few things that I'm doing," he said. "The camp has gone really, really well, and I think it's going to be the start of big things for me."
Wilkinson, who appeared on "The Ultimate Fighter 12" as part of head coach Josh Koscheck's squad, said he believes he can work his way back into the UFC in the near future.
"I know how much I want to be back at the top and know the level I need to get to, to get back there," said Wilkinson, who's gone 3-1 after suffering a submission loss to Cody Mckenzie at the TUF 12 Finale, which signaled the end of his short stint with the UFC. "I think that level is attainable. I think I've taken a couple of steps to get to that level now, and hopefully this year I can take a few more."
Which Wilkinson said he can do with a big win over Cohoon.
"He's from the same area I'm from in Manchester, so I've seen a lot of his fights," he said. "He's a tough guy, quite fit, and always brings it. He's decent on his feet. But I think I'm better well-rounded, to be honest. I think I'm slightly ahead of him on my feet, my wrestling is more advanced, and my jiu-jitsu is a little bit better than his."
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