Aaron Jeffery brings refreshing attitude to BTC 3
By Lauren Maharaj, FightON
Across the face of a sport represented in the mainstream media by big voices, brash attitudes and what MMA purists would see as negative attention lies a quiet confidence in fighters such as Aaron Jeffery.
Although the Canadian middleweight went into his last fight selling himself as the “prettiest fighter on the card”, on paper his remarks sound much harder to process than they really are. In and out of training, on social media and in his fighting career, Jeffery isn’t known for shallow smack talking, but rather a progressive growth to form after suffering the plague of injuries. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t believe what he says, in the best of ways.
“I look good without a shirt on,” said Jeffery. “[But] I think I put on good fights and I think people find it interesting to see a pretty boy in there. Someone who doesn’t look like they should be an MMA fighter who goes out there and do what I do.”
Even though the superficial point regarding his aesthetics may be true, what is even more true is the evidence we have to suggest just how good his fights really are. The 25-year-old will be making his sixth professional appearance at BTC 3: Prophecy on June 23 where he embraces another bout at middleweight, a weight class well suited for him. Having an impressive 4-1 record sprinkled with all types of finishes, a truly intimidating build and an outstanding sense of athleticism, Jeffery meets Alex Beaule with an excitement only a true MMA sportsman would understand.
“I don’t know if it’s a bad thing to admit, but it's not like I’m thinking about becoming a UFC champion or something,” said Jeffery. “This sport is just fun. All of it is fun. The five-hour road trip of going down to Ohio with the guys, being here at the gym and shooting the shit - all of it, it’s all fun…it’s not like I don’t give a shit whether I win or lose. I put a lot into this and I care. But at the end of the day, it's still all just fun.”
Jeffery’s sense of lightness towards fighting is a refreshing aspect to his game. The young, yet experienced middleweight’s commitment to the sport has always been rooted in such. It’s a touch that seems like many fighters only admit once they make into the latter parts of their careers and are comfortable with their successes. But for Jeffery, the word fun is really how it all began for him.
“One day one of the coaches at the gym asked me if I wanted to fight”, Jeffery recalled about his early year's training in combat sports. “I had never considered it at that point. [But] I took the fight anyway. Got my ass whopped and loved it and stuck with it ever since.”
Keeping all of this in mind - Jeffery is not a middleweight to underestimate - even if his outlook suggests otherwise. Jeffery's second appearance at middleweight should be one that is anticipated among the regional elite. The Para Bellum MMA devotee is in a division that is thinly represented in the Ontario MMA scene and with his constant work ethic on display and a savoury record to back it up, his next fight against two-time TKO fighter Beaule should be on the fans radar.
"[My coach] Lyndon Whitlock and I watched his recent fight at TKO," said Jeffery. "I don't think he's that great. I don't think he's overly skilled. I think he's bigger and stronger than me, but I'm more athletic and better prepared. This will be good."
*All photos courtesy of Lauren Maharaj