Fight Life TV presents another intense Behind The Fighter segment with combat sports champ Aaron Aby. In the first half of the show Aaron boldly talks about living with cystic fibrosis and how he overcame the fear of dying through sport.
Despite being a champion of a fighter, Aaron hasn’t had the same advantages as other fighters. Aaron was born with cystic fibrosis, a condition caused by a degenerating gene from both parents and primarily affects a person’s lungs.
At birth Aaron’s life expectancy was estimated to be 16 years however research has since propelled that figure to 38 but Aaron is determined to surpass that and live until 100 years old.
Although his condition affects his lungs he was never discouraged to not play sports. His parents believed in Aaron being like every other kid and participating in sport.
Not only did this decision encourage him to take part in sport 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, he ended up attending an MMA class with his uncle which ultimately kick-started his obsession with combat sport.
At first, it began with a class a week, a few months in and he was practically there everyday. As he became more focused, the more he refined his skills became and he was able to progress to amateur level.
While fighting was an important aspect of his life it wasn’t everything, Aaron went to university earning himself a degree in Sports Science before starting a professional MMA career.
Given that his father was a rugby player for Sale and a coach it’s not surprising that Aaron ended up in a sport focused career. He even ended up setting up a gym with his dad called IPC (Inspire Preform Centre). 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 motivation and have goals and be healthy.”
For Aaron the gym is full of a collection of friends and family with trainers and trainees bonding over their mutual respect and determination to better themselves. These relationships have made it easier for him as he doesn’t always get to spend time with his friends.
His strict diet and constant training schedule means he often misses social engagements and while he misses them he knows that sacrifices are necessary for success.
This is one of the many reasons that he trains all year round. Unlike most fighters who vigorously train weeks before a fight and then have weeks off, Aaron prefers to continuously train and push his barriers. This method enables him to be prepared for every fight and for any last minute fights that arise.
“Training is the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing I think about when I go to sleep.”