MMA fighter and Cystic Fibrosis battler, Aaron Aby makes his debut on Fight Life TVs Behind The Fighter.
Fight Life TV has an extraordinary interview with MMA fighter Aaron Aby in the next instalment of the Behind The Fighter series. The Welsh man, Aaron not only battles in the cage but every day in his life as he lives with Cystic Fibrosis.
In this raw interview, Aaron candidly talks about his condition, the challenges he has overcome and his fearless pursuit of his passion for MMA fighting.
Having been born with Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic condition that primarily affects the lungs, his parents were told he would only live until he was 16. Since then research has meant that his life expectancy has drastically changed.
Although his condition affects his lungs he was never discouraged from playing sports. His parents believed that he should be like every other kid, he should play with his friends and participate in sports.
Not only did this decision encourage him to be a child and run around it also allowed him to figure out that not only could he keep up with other children he was actually fitter than most of them.
“My family always pushed me to be like everyone else and I found I could be like them. I found out that I could be normal and that I could keep up.”
From there in Aaron didn’t let anything hold him back. In later years he would attend an MMA class with his uncle. A class that would enthuse him and ultimately kick-start his obsession with combat sport.
After his first session, he was hooked. In a few short months, Aaron was training there practically every day focusing and refining his fighting skills. His determination to learn enabled him to progress to amateur level.
Five years later Aaron had racked up an impressive fight record of 10-0-0, he’d fought most in the business and was eager for more fights. Given the lack of exposure for MMA meant Aaron had very few opponents that he could face at amateur level and so he made the executive decision to turn pro.
A decision that created a career for him, that continues to enthral him and one which immensely improved his health. Exercise is a key factor that can improve the lives of those living with cystic fibrosis.
Something with inspired Aaron and his father to open their gym IPC (Inspire Performance Gym) in Wrexham. The gym was launched in a bid to not only train but to encourage others to get fit no matter who they are or if they suffer from a disability or illness.
“Exercise is almost a cure for me so we wanted to use the gym to inspire others to be healthy, have the motivation and have goals and be healthy.”
The gym has given Aaron the time to refine his coaching skills, another formidable talent of his, it has also allowed him to build a community of friends that are determined to better themselves.
These relationships have made it easier for him as he doesn’t always get to spend time with his friends. Given his strict diet and constant training regime, means he often misses social engagements and while he misses them he knows that sacrifices are necessary for success.
His perseverance for success even has him training all year round, ensuring he is constantly ready and in perfect condition for a fight. Even after a fight Aaron only takes a few days off from training to recuperate, unlike most fighters. Most fighters tend to take six to eight weeks off after a fight in order to relax and rest.
For Aaron fighting and training isn’t just a job it’s a lifestyle and something he couldn’t comprehend not living.
“I’ve never really thought about what I would do if I wasn’t a fighter, it’s never crossed my mind. It’s the last thing I think about before I go to bed and the first thing I think of when I get up.”
While training dominates the majority of his time, Aaron also dedicates his time to coaching at IPC referencing his knowledge and skill that he has built up over the years.
No matter what a person enters the gym for whether that’s to fight, to train or to keep fit the gym offers help, advice and workout regimes that work. They even offer meal planning in order to help with a well-rounded balanced lifestyle.
His passion and enthusiasm have helped transform lives of those who train at IPC so much so that two members have gone on to become accomplished professional fighters. Both have won the ICE British Championship, one at flyweight and the other at Bantamweight.
While this is a huge accolade to Aaron he actually sees it as a massive inspiration. He sees two people who came in the gym with a mission to change their lifestyle and become fitter and both people smashing their goal.
Throughout his life he has seen the success and determination to inspire him, to motivate and to keep him pursuing a combat sport.
While he may have been born with a life threatening condition it is quite clear that Aaron is a warrior both inside and outside the cage.
Although his condition isn’t something he hides, very few opponents aren’t aware of his situation something which he values. Whilst some fighters view his condition as a disadvantage, Aaron views it in a completely opposite manner.
The mental durability of facing and fighting cystic fibrosis has enabled him to face difficult situations in a calm and collective manner.
“I do think it’s a bit of an advantage especially when it comes to mental durance. I am prepared for anything and ready to constantly keep on fighting.”
This is also reflected in what he considers a great fight. For most fighters, a quick win is something they enjoy, even aim for, for Aaron he essentially views it as a waste of a fight. He is much more in favour of a fight that lasts longer, that tests his skills and puts him in difficult positions.
Aaron’s entire outlook on life, his dedication to his career and coaching and his desire to live a full and meaningful life is what sets him apart from other fighters.
He intends to keep on fighting, securing bigger fights, with bigger fighters in a bid to up his fighting record and renowned fighter.
Watch Aaron Aby on the Fight Life TV YouTube Channel Part 1 & 2
Originally Posted on Fight Life TV