Oktagon 52’s Aaron Aby Overcame Cystic Fibrosis, Cancer, So He Will Not Break in a Fight

Flyweight Aaron Aby has been a fighter his entire life.

Aby started mixed martial arts as a youngster with his uncle, who was teaching a class with funds donated to cystic fibrosis — a condition Aby was diagnosed with at a very young age.

“I was playing football at the time, it was on the nights football wasn’t on so I just started going to that, and fell in love with it really,” Aby told Cageside Press recently, outlining just how he looks at the inherited disorder. “I’ve never known any different. I was diagnosed like two months in, and I’ve always just wanted to push and challenge myself.”

Still, Aby making it to promotions like Cage Warriors and Oktagon is nothing short of inspiring. In his Oktagon MMA debut, he took on Elias Garcia for the inaugural Oktagon flyweight title, only for the fight to be stopped due to a cut, with Aby suffering a TKO loss. Now, he takes on Christopher Daniel at Oktagon 52 in Newcastle, and the Welsh fighter caught wind ahead of the bout that Daniel suggested he “breaks” in fights.

“There’s no personal beef with Daniel personally, it’s just I feel when people say things like that about me, it’s one of those people I’ve always grown up with that always tell me ‘you can’t do this, your lungs aren’t good enough, you aren’t fit enough,'” Aby said in response. “Saying I break easily is something that I really disagree with. Being born with cystic fibrosis, going through stage three cancer, multiple bouts of chemotherapy, getting back to where I am now shows I’m not a quitter. I don’t break, I’ll never be broken. If you look at all my fights, I think I’ve only lost one round three.”

A fist fight no doubt pales in comparison to fighting cancer, given what’s on the line battling the disease. Fighting cancer is a fight for your life, after all. “I completely agree,” Aby stated. “I’ve gone into operations where I don’t know if I’m going to wake up on the other side. I’ve been told to write a will with my parents before. Me fighting someone and breaking, it’s just never going to happen. It’s never going to happen. That said you can critique my skill set, critique my fighting style, beat me in a fight over three rounds but don’t question my mindset and my ability to keep pushing forward through tough times.”

While Aaron Aby gets Christopher Daniel at Oktagon 52, he was expecting another crack at gold given how his first flyweight title fight ended. He’s not sure why it hasn’t happened, but the hold up certainly isn’t on this end, but rather that of Elias Garcia.

“Obviously he said he wanted a rematch, the show wanted the rematch, so I did think I was going to get it. I agreed to the rematch the week after the fight, and we had the date sorted and everything but it just never came to fruition.”

So if Aby signed on for the fight, what’s the hold-up? In the end, Aby isn’t sure if the flyweight champ plans to compete for the promotion again.

“I just don’t know if Garcia is going to come back to Oktagon. I don’t think he wants the rematch. I think maybe he talked about it with his team and they don’t think maybe it’s a good fight for him and they just changed their mind on everything. Because they never actually signed the contract, it was just signed on my side but he said in the post-fight press conference that he was up for the rematch, I deserved the rematch and everything. But it was something that just never ended up happening for reasons we’ll hopefully find out in the future. But I know he’s not injured or anything, so it’s just one of those things.”

Watch our full interview with Oktagon 52’s Aaron Aby above.