Aaron Aby is a fast-rising featherweight fighter who fights out of the MMA Academy Liverpool. He is a sufferer of Cystic Fibrosis and fights to raise awareness of CF. He is currently 7-0 so far and makes his Full Contact Contender debut at FCC – 5, in March, where he takes on Billy Hatton. He took some time out to answer some questions on Cystic Fibrosis, his upcoming fight and his MMA journey so far.
Hi Aaron, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions. Can you tell people a little about yourself?
“I’m Aaron Aby, I fight out of the MMA Academy Liverpool, and I’m a sufferer of Cystic Fibrosis. I fight to raise awareness of CF”.
I have just seen your fighting to breathe video and it was really touching to see what you battle each day but how much you have come through in life and are now making waves in MMA. Can you tell me more about the condition and the work you do for Cystic Fibrosis?
“Cystic Fibrosis is one of the UK’s most common inherited diseases. It effects the lungs and digestive system mainly, making it hard to breathe and digest food. The average life expectancy for someone for CF is 41. However it is on the rise. (More stats can be found on cf trust website – details below). My work for CF involves public speaking at dinners, schools and charity events. I have organised a few events myself and have raised over £20,000 for the charity”.
You are making your FCC debut at FCC 5 against Billy Hatton. How much do you know about him?
“It is my FCC debut on march 16th. I know Billy Hatton has a very good Muay Thai boxing background, but I’m just concentrating on myself and my game”.
What do you see as your best weapon in this fight?
“My best weapon, as in every fight, is my heart and what i represent. I’m not just fighting for myself , my team and my coaches. I’m fighting to raise awareness of CF and provide hope to families dealing with the condition”.
How is your training going? Is there anything you’ve had to change for this fight?
“Training is going well. I just train to improve. Its always developing and I’m always trying to get better”.
What is your official fighting record and how far do you think you can go in MMA? And does being unbeaten add any extra pressure when you fight?
“My record is actually 6-0. I think i can go as far as possible. I’m willing to push myself to the limit and dedicate my life to MMA and I’m willing to give everything to it. Being unbeaten i don’t feel any added pressure. I take one fight at a time and i always want to win and raise awareness in doing so. I have to remember its not just about me or winning: its about more than that”.
How did you get into MMA?
“I used to play football at a professional club but was released due to the fact i had Cystic Fibrosis! My Uncle Julian Aby had an MMA class as he is a coach under Erik Paulson. So i started going there once a week and it all snowballed from there. I started wanting to fight and eventually became full time. I didn’t have many training partners back then so i would beat up my dad and that made it fun”.
What is your favourite aspect of MMA?
“I honestly love everything about MMA”.
I will never experience getting into the cage and fighting. And for that I have so much respect for everyone who does it. What’s the feeling like when the cage door is shut and it’s just you and your opponent?
“The feeling of the cage door shutting is relaxing. Its just like training then, which you do every day. It becomes a battle of skill and determination. I’m in the zone ready to go”.
What is the best thing about fighting and what motivates you to fight?
“I love fighting and enjoy the competition. I’m motivated by my enjoyment but most of all to prove that no matter what circumstances life throws at you, you can control it and still make something of yourself! I’m motivated to motivate others and I want there to be a cure for CF so families and people i know don’t have to suffer!
Who are the most inspirational people in your life? Has anyone had a really big impact/help on your career?
“I’m inspired by alot of people! I take good things from everyone! Alot of people have impacted my career! Family and friends. My dad has always pushed me to believe and follow my dreams! He is like my life coach. My mum and Jez have always supported me and helped me and been there for me. My Uncle Julian got me involved in the sport and started me on my journey. But everyone supports me and everyone inspires me! Jason Tan and Peter Davies and all the guys from MMA Academy and SBG have had a big impact on my career and I couldn’t be where I am now or where I’m going to go without them”.
Thanks again for the interview. Is there anybody you would like to thank?
“I would like to thank my family and friends for supporting me. The guys at the MMA Academy and SBG for developing me. All my training partners and Coaches. The CF trust! USC for sponsoring me and providing me with supplements. IPC for conditioning and dieting. And my supporters who come and watch me no matter what. They are the loudest fans per head ratio in any sport. I would also like to thank Ross pearson for supporting me and helping raise my CF profile. And lastly to Haylie for being my chef (laughs)”.