Aaron Jeffery

Aaron Jeffery on John Salter: “A Little Bit One Dimensional”

Aaron Jeffery tests skills with John Salter at Bellator 293 on March 31st.

Jeffery once again appeared on Bowks Talking Bouts to touch on the machinations of this middleweight matchup, the quandary of his hugely popular hairstyle, and much more. Excerpts from our chat are below.

Aaron Jeffery

The temperament Jeffery had when this bout offer for Salter came his way

“Yeah, I was pumped, man. I mean I would have been pumped with pretty much anyone in the top ten. Again, they’re all big fights when you’re at this level. But him being ranked above me is big obviously. It means I can climb up the ladder and stylistically, I just think it’s a really good matchup for me.”

Austin Vanderford being ranked above Jeffery despite being finished by the Canadian combatant

“It’s definitely inconsequential but no, it’s funny. Like you said I just kind of had a laugh at it, made a funny Instagram post. But it doesn’t really matter at this point. Again, I’m fighting number three. So, if I’m number six or number seven, it doesn’t matter. Because hopefully I’m gonna be number three after this one.”

Bellator 293

The primary stylistic attributes of Salter and Jeffery’s assessment of the fight overall

“He’s a good wrestler. He’s a good submission grappler. That’s definitely his strong suit. Without disrespecting him, I think he’s maybe like a little bit one-dimensional. I don’t think he’s super comfortable on the feet. I think he pretty much just looks to grapple and only grapple. So I’m going to try and shut that down and implement my game plan.”

“I’m pretty confident in my grappling as well. I think my defensive grappling is one of the strongest attributes in my game. So, if he wants to shoot at my hips and be underneath me, I think I can win that battle too.

The intrigue surrounding potential wrestling exchanges in this fight

“I think my defensive grappling, like my anti-wrestling if you will, is one of the strongest parts of my game. So yeah, I would love to test that against him.”

Bellator MMA

What an ideal next step could be if Jeffery gets his desired outcome here versus Salter

“Well, title shot’s always nice, right? Career-wise to get the belt is huge. (Gegard) Mousasi and (Fabian) Edwards are fighting each other soon though. So I think perhaps one of those guys could be next on the radar…Pretty much whoever’s in front of me, I’ve got to take these guys out. Hopefully, get the belt in the near future.”

The pros and cons of Jeffery’s pristine mullet 

“We released the first mullet shirt like almost two years ago now and it was a huge hit. I think we sold like probably close to a thousand shirts or maybe more. Then every time we would release a new design, it becomes a big hit; people love it. So yeah, it’s been cool… For sure, it’s become my whole personality.”

The importance of persona in MMA

“Yeah, it kind of sucks, man. Right now, it’s working out for me because I have a look. Even just today, Bellator made a post, I think it was fear the mullet or something. So obviously that’s working and then there’s all the merch and stuff. So it’s cool and now it’s benefitting me. It sucks that our sport is not really just a sport anymore, it’s entertainment.”

“Guys are in it because they’re athletes and now they need to learn to also be like actors or showmen at the same time. That’s not who we are. Then a lot of guys can kind of jump the ladder, they get these big contracts. Not because they’re the best fighters. It’s because they’re the best shit-talkers or best actors or showmen or whatever it is. So, it’s kind of unfortunate.”

author avatar
Dylan Bowker
I've been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I've hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I've been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I've provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I've worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.