A professional record of 10-3 is cause for the UFC to look your way, give you a shot or invite you to Dana White’s Contender Series, but if two of your three losses come on the Tuesday night shows, is there more panic than excitement?
Per Tapology’s regional rankings, CFFC’s Aaron Jeffery is the number one-ranked middleweight in all of the US West among professional middleweights, the third-ranked middleweight in the Northeast and fifth-ranked middleweight in the United States overall. He’s caught the eye of the UFC enough to get not one, but two shots on Dana White’s Contender Series in season three and season five.
Aside from an early career loss to Top 10 UFC welterweight Sean Brady, it’s the only time Jeffery has suffered defeat. To add just a little more confusion to the situation, it was a fight that Brady says was the hardest fight he’s ever had.
Granted, his first DWCS loss was to Brendan Allen who holds UFC victories over Kyle Daukaus, Kyle Roberson and Kevin Holland, but it’s impossible not to wonder why the CFFC middleweight champ came up short.
“It sucks, man,” Jeffery said bluntly. “Getting to that point twice and s****ing the bed both times sucks a lot. Now I don’t know what’s next for my career. Is the UFC not interested now because they’ve given me that opportunity twice? There’s not much I can really do about it but keep training and trying to win fights, so that’s what I’m going to do.”
Jeffery reflects on all his accomplishments and the fights he’s won and lost, and he is as critical of himself as others may be. Even household UFC names can’t believe he hasn’t punched his ticket yet.
“I train with Strickland and Chiesa down in Vegas and they both say the same s***, that I should be in the UFC and they can’t believe I’m not, but what I can do in the gym isn’t what I’m doing in the cage,” Jeffery explained. “I just got to put it all together when I fight.”
Some fighters may self-destruct in such a situation, but Jeffery explains that while he is concerned, he can only be mad at himself, and although he can’t understand why he’s come up short, the road doesn’t end here.
Let down by the losses or not, Jeffery’s path in life is already set in stone. And there’s no turning back now.
“The only person I can be frustrated at is myself,” Jeffery said. “I’m the one who’s blowing it when I get to the big stage. I’m not going to be doing anything else with my life, anyway. I’m going to be training and fighting, so the only thing that’s changing is the money situation. I wish I was making more money to fight but, regardless, I’m going to be doing this.”
Jeffery is almost four months removed from his decision loss to Caio Borralho at DWCS. In only a third of a year he’s had plenty of time to get back in the saddle, but with a newfound confusion about where he stands with the most prestigious fight company on Earth, will Jeffery be the same fighter he was before? Or will he fight like a man who feels the moment has passed him?
“I’m definitely as motivated,” Jeffery said. “Getting ready for a Contender Series fight is different, obviously, but I think all fighters say it - every fight is the biggest fight of your career, whether the stage is less or not. I’m definitely still motivated.”
Jeffery has his work cut out for him against “T” Rex Harris at CFFC 105 with middleweight gold on the line. Can he bounce back the way he always has?
Catch the return of Aaron Jeffery at CFFC 105 LIVE on Saturday, January 29, ONLY on UFC FIGHT PASS!