Ep. #77 – Aaron Jeffery

Aaron Jeffery is a mixed martial artist who fights out of Ontario, Canada and competes in the Middleweight division. He is best known for competing on Dana White’s Contender Series and is the former BTC Fight Promotions Middleweight Champion.


Aaron Jeffery: How’S your day been and uh. What’S the uh? What’S life like there in the hotel, okay, um, it’s been busy man uh. I was at my mom’s place in tilsenburg this morning. I don’t know if you know where that is um like an hour and a half from toronto uh, so i drove from there to the gym. Did my last training session uh and then came over to the hotel here and and unpacked and stuff uh? My flight’s like early tomorrow morning, 8 15., so i got to be up and out of here by like 5 30ish, how’s, uh and you’re a few days out now. How are you feeling um, obviously a lot? This past few months have been very, very weird for most people, so uh? How are you feeling uh just a few days out? Good man uh like just getting the last few pounds off and that sort of thing um but yeah, i’m feeling good i’m ready to go. How was the uh? How was the weight cut? I mean i speak for me personally, i put on an additional a few pounds. The past couple months. Was it a little bit trickier to get those last few pounds off um? No, i was probably walking around like two or three pounds: heavier in camp, maybe uh. So like an extra like week or two of dieting leading into like the the water, loading and whatnot but um, no, it’s always pretty easy for me, i’m not a huge middleweight um. I don’t really cut a ton of weight so yeah it’s never too bad. So it’s been, it’s been a little over a year now since uh, since you last fought um. How are you feeling um in terms of the layoff like? Do you feel like? How do you feel that’s gon na affect your performance? Do you think it’s going to benefit it? Do you think it’s going to take you a little while to get the feel for things um, dude, honestly for me, like my career, has been so uh inconsistent like i have nine fights in like five or six years or whatever so uh. I think these long layoffs are like normal for me at this point, which sucks but uh yeah. It is what it is. What was the reason for this long layoff? I know there was a couple fights there that i think fell through um. What was the main reason why you uh you’ve been on the sidelines for so long yeah, so i was supposed to fight for btc back in november um and that got cancelled like three days out from wayne’s. I think, like i was already like pretty dehydrated and feeling crappy and like ready to fight uh, and the commission didn’t approve my opponent and like on that short notice. You’Re not gon na find somebody else uh. So that happened and then i was supposed to fight the end of january and pretty much same thing like three days out from wayne’s. Again, i’m like cutting weight, i’m ready to go, i’m booking my hotel and everything. Uh and buddy blows out his knee and again they’re, not gon na find a replacement on on that, like short of a notice uh, so two fights canceled like two or three months apart and then covet happens and everything gets sidelined so like it was just a Chain of shitty events, yeah you’re, now seven and two as a professional at middleweight, which is overall really good record. I mean as a welterweighter as a lightweight uh. You know you usually look for people with higher or more fights, but at seven and two that’s really especially going into you know, ufc or bellator. How far out do you think you are from maybe getting a call for the ufc? Obviously, you’ve competed on the contender series before yeah, hopefully close man uh, like you said i was on contender series, so i think that means like i’m i’m on the radar like. I think that means if i won the fight, they were willing to sign me um, and this dude that i’m fighting next uh is another contender series guy. So like two guys that are right at that level uh. I think i should be pretty close. What’S your thoughts on bruno assista’s opponent, i mean obviously he’s competed overseas in bellator and, like you did or uh for brave story and like you just said, he did also compete on the on the contender series. So there’s a lot like really riding on this um because, like you said, i mean you’re on their radar um. What’S your thoughts on him as an opponent, yeah he’s solid, uh super good, uh, jits guy he’s a black belt go on the ground, got a few wins by sub um good judo as well. Like he’s got, some nice throws and stuff um, but i think it’s a good matchup for me. I think uh. I think i got a way to beat him for sure. So i asked this a lot and especially going into fights. Do you do a lot of watching your opponent, or do you leave that mainly for your coaches, um? Mostly to my coaches, i mean i want to watch the guy and like have a rough idea of what he does um and like most guys, don’t really change like a lot from fight to fight right so like i don’t need to study the tape too much. I want to have like a general idea but uh. I i think it’s more about you than about your opponent. Right, like you got ta, you got ta, get yourself ready more than like trying to see what they’re doing in their past fights and exploit something. I’Ll talk a little bit about your your two losses. I mean you’re, seven and two, and i think a lot of people learn a lot from their losses. Um, you see guys that go undefeated throughout their entire careers, but they don’t have uh that those two losses that really kind of help uh help you grow. What did you learn from those two losses to both sean brady and um? Brendan allen, um? Well, the sean brady one that was like fairly early in my career, but i think i was on like a ten fight win streak. Like my miami career, i lost my first fight and then i won eight in a row and then i won two for pro fights uh. So i think i probably just kind of thought i was like invincible, so that was uh learning that i’m not um and then the brendan allen fight i’ve said this a few times. It sounds a little bit silly because i kind of got my ass kicked like pretty quickly in that fight uh, but i felt like i could hang with him like uh. I felt like i deserved to be in there uh and now watching him like kind of tear through the ufc uh, it’s good. It gives me some confidence that i deserve to be there too. Do you feel like it’s almost bittersweet, knowing that you could be in their shoes? You know obviously brady’s doing really well he’s still undefeated and uh brendan allen is on a tear. He’S probably, i think, one of the best fighters not ranked in the ufc all divisions um. Is it a little bit bittersweet knowing like man? If i had one of those wins, there’s a good chance, i could have been their spot yeah for sure. But, like that’s fighting it’s gon na happen, uh there’ll probably be other losses i take and guys will go on to do good things. I’M sure some guys that i beat see see what i’m doing and and they’re kind of like jealous or thinking that they could be here so yeah. It’S part of the sport ups and downs, yeah yeah, there’s a man these these weeks are there’s a lot of activity going on in the ufc. More specifically, the contender series, a teammate and someone else is signed by dodge there. Anthony romero is representing pretty much canada him and tj laramie. What do you think it’ll really take for uh like like a, i guess, a swing of canadian talent into the ufc um? That’S a good question! Uh, it’s weird because we’re all like dispersed. We don’t have like a big canadian gym, i guess there’s like tristar, but a lot of guys. There aren’t even canadians, um but like in the states. You see like a bunch of these like big name gyms, that have a bunch of guys and there’s already. Like 10 guys in the ufc, so other guys come to train at that gym and they kind of have that in uh. But i think a lot of us are like kind of all over the place right, like laramie trains like out in windsor, and i think he goes to the states and stuff uh me and romero and jasmine are at the one gym but then, like. I think a lot of the canadian talents like spread out uh – i don’t know if it would take like one gym to get in a few fighters uh to kind of like have that in you know what i mean yeah, absolutely i mean gavin tucker’s from my Hometown, i’m i’m in halifax as well yeah and like tanner bowser’s on the other side of uh, exactly everyone’s all over right, yep, it’s a it’s a massive country, but it doesn’t really seem to be a a lot of talent overall. Well and i find uh. You know like with the united states, there’s almost like that wrestling background. You know, like a lot of people, are taking wrestling in high school for sure we don’t really have that as an option was it that really got you into into the sport. I think just watching it growing up. I had an older brother that was in the ufc and watching he had bought a couple. Dvds and i found one of them and started watching it and he actually started training before me too, and i joined the gym with him and just kind of like stuck with it. Ever since i was young uh. Another question i have to ask: i mean you’ve, obviously competed in front of no fans before on the contender series. How do you think that’s going to impact your performance? Are you someone who hears the audience and kind of like feeds off of it, or are you someone who kind of like manages to drown all that out? Yeah i’ve been asked this question a few times. Uh honestly, i didn’t notice a difference at contender series. I i didn’t tell a difference: um, maybe it’s from fighting on, like smaller regional shows, the crowd is like not normally like huge, like a ufc crowd like. Maybe if you were used to like tens of thousands of people there and then you went to no audience you’d notice it but uh yeah. No, i didn’t notice a big difference. Do you think it’s going to favor you being able to hear both the co like the commentary in both corners um? You know what i can always hear my corner pretty. Well too. I’Ve never like struggled to hear them or like not responded to them or anything. So uh yeah again, i don’t think it’s going to be a big change for me. I’Ll have to ask a little bit about canadian mma being we’re both being canadian um, george st pierre, getting inducted into the ufc hall of fame. I think it’s long overdue and i’m kind of surprised he he wasn’t already in there have you ever had the chance to to meet george, and what’s your thoughts on on him and his legacy overall yeah, i met him uh once or twice that tries her just Kind of like in passing, like he was training, and i was training we said hi in the change room or whatever uh, but yeah man phenomenal athlete uh like one of the best, if not the best of all time in mma, um super good dude too, like No steroids or drugs or any of that stuff, like no news stories coming out like hitting, runs or dui’s or any of this stuff, just uh seems like a good like overall dude. I want to touch on that a little bit as well. I mean i spoke to uh to matt dodge um. I spoke to jasmine and andre andre yule as well. A lot of people signed there by by dodge sports, and the one thing i noticed is you’re all down to earth um. But one of the things you see in news today, especially with guys like mike perry, uh conor mcgregor, like it’s almost like negative attention, is good attention. Um. How do you kind of stay grounded through all that, knowing that maybe a bigger opportunity comes? If you go out there and and make make negative headlines um, that’s a good question. I uh i’m just gon na have to play it safe when i’m, when i’m making my bad decisions, i’m just gon na have to make sure there’s no cameras around to find out um. But no, like you said, i think, uh. The dodge crew is like a good crew of people. Uh we’re all well behaved. I guess you could say i don’t want to say we’re uh, we’re boring, because i know we like to have our fun too, but um. No definitely no uh getting in bar fights or uh getting arrested or anything like that. As far as i know, anyways, maybe they’re uh, maybe they’re just making their good decision or bad decisions uh at good times too. So i’ve made uh a little platform. I i started this back in march uh just interviewing fighters, but the platform i got in mma was based on making predictions for fights as well as uh matchmaking. Is there anybody uh like in the ufc or evan bellator who you’re like you, know what it would be my dream to compete against him someday whether it’s realistic, not realistic, current fighter former fighter? Is there anybody you wish you could have tested your skills against um? Maybe like a cm punk, because that would have the most eyes on it and i think it could match up pretty well against him. I, like that answer, uh and another big fight this weekend and stipe versus dc uh, three um. What’S the prediction for that one, that’s a tough one uh! I don’t know if it was like two years ago. I would lean towards dc. I think i think he was like the better overall fighter, but he’s getting old uh doesn’t look to be in the best shape, doing a lot of commentary and travel and that kind of stuff, um i’ll, probably go with stipe. I like it uh and i’ll. Ask you a couple more questions and then i’ll, let you go for people who haven’t watched you fight before what would you tell them about your both your fight style and, if there’s one fight that you could point at and be like watch that fight? That sums me up as a fighter which fight would it be uh. I’D, say my fight style is kind of uh like grindy, like it’s not always prey to watch. I do like a lot of uh wall work like grind. If you play on the fans like knees dirty boxing that kind of stuff um, if i had to say one fight to watch, that was the coolest, it would be uh. My first fight at btc versus alex bolet. That was like. I don’t think i fought exactly like my style and i got a knockout on the feet. Uh. If you want to see one fight that probably sums up my career a bit more, it would be my other fight at btc against uh, joe vale. I, like it um so overall, what’s your prediction for this uh for this upcoming weekend, i’m gon na get the w all right. I like it also uh. How are you gon na stay, safe, you’re, going to florida you’re going to like the epicenter of uh coronavirus? What are you doing? Sorts of procedures? Are you doing to make sure you don’t catch anything uh, typical stuff wearing my mask, washing my hands, um we’re actually there for like a very short time so uh, like, i, don’t think. I’M gon na come in contact with tons of people like we get there tomorrow later in the afternoon, wednesday’s weigh-ins thursday i fight and i’m out of their friday. So it’s only a few days i’ll probably be in the hotel room most of the time. So um not too concerned all right. I like it all the best stay safe man and uh all the best on thursday night awesome thanks brother, all right man, all about

Sergio Pineiro

Sergio Pineiro is the Founder of FighterPath.com and host of the Quarantinecast podcast. Based in Canada he is both a sports journalist and MMA enthusiast. He practices the sport but has a passion for the individual stories of training, fighting and living the fighting lifestyle.

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