Aaron Simpson

TRAINING: I have been training alongside Ryan Bader for this fight, as he fights in Japan 10 days later. We train twice a day and have been implementing techniques coached by Tom Vaughn, our new MMA coach at Power MMA and Fitness.I am returning to my home state of Nebraska for this fight in Omaha. I expect to have a big following there from friends and relatives that I grew up with in McCook, NE and people from my manager, Dave Martin’s home state South Dakota. I first learned to wrestle in Nebraska. My dad was a State Championship Coach and is in the Nebraska High School Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame. I have a lot of history there, and am planning to put on a show.

When and why did you start training for fighting? As a coach, I was well aware of the UFC and what type of opportunity it provides for world-class wrestlers.  Jesse Forbes came to us at ASU to get ready for the TUF 3 finale.  I knew I wanted to try my hand in the sport but I had to find the best way to separate myself from the kids I was coaching. After Cain, CB and Bader graduated ASU and begun their MMA careers, I knew I would not too far behind.  So about a year ago I dedicated myself to being a full time fighter and set a goal to get in one of the best organizations in the world. Wrestlers in general wrestle for the love of the sport.  For us wrestlers, the UFC is like having the NFL, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

What ranks and titles have you held?
2 time NCAA ALL American, 12th most wins in ASU’s Wrestling history, 1997 Pac 10 Champion and “Outstanding Wrestler” for the Pac 10 division, 5th place US Olympic Trials in 2000, 4th Place US Olympic Trials in 2004, USA National Team Member, 142-1 in High School, Member of Real Pro Wrestling, He and His wife competed as a team on season 2 of NBC’s American Gladiators, wins over such notable wresters as Mark Munoz, Olympian Ben Askren, and Olympian Andy Hrovat.

Do you have any heroes? My heroes are my family, wife and my kids.  I just had twins, and my mother-in-law was the surrogate.  I want to be able to give my kids and family everything they need to be happy in life.  My mother-in-law and her sacrifice that she made for my wife and I really sets the standard of how I want to be for my kids.  My wife and I will never forget what she did for us and we will live our lives trying to be half the person she is today.

What is your favorite technique? I like the entire aspect of a fight.  I love the mental aspects combined with the physical test. 

What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? Getting the call to move up from the WEC to the UFC is a dream come true for me.  This was a goal of mine since first stepping foot into AZ Combat Sports.  But, it is not about just fighting in the UFC.  It is about executing my technique and imposing my will and ultimately getting my hand raised one fight at a time.  This is just another journey in my life that I am putting everything into.  It is a process of discovering what it is that I am made of.  It is a chance to test myself as I bring a skill set that I have been sharpening since I started wrestling at age 4.  Now, I get to see where I stand on the biggest stage in MMA.  I’m looking forward to stepping out in the Octagon and letting my hands fly.

Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I graduated from ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.  

What was your job before you started fighting? I spent 9 years at ASU as an assistant Wrestling Coach, 1 year at Cal Poly as an assistant Wrestling Coach and during the summer months I help coach the Sunkist Wrestling program.  You can say I spent my entire life preparing to fight in the sport of MMA.

•    Simpson is one of the most decorated wresters in MMA.  While in high school Aaron won an impressive 142 times with only one loss.

•    Win over Lawlor was awarded Fight of the Night honors.

•    After high school, Simpson went on wrestle for Arizona State University (ASU).  While at ASU Aaron was a multiple Pac 10 Champion, 2 time NCAA All-American, Pan American Silver Medalist, USA National Team Member and took 4th place at the 2004 Olympic Trials.

•    After his successful collegiate career he was asked to join The ASU Wrestling team as an Asst. Coach.  During his 9 years as a Coach for the ASU Wrestling team Aaron coached such notable fighters as Cain Velasquez (UFC), CB Dollaway (UFC) and Ryan Bader (UFC).  Prior to becoming a full time fighter he spent a year coaching at Cal Poly Tech in California.

•    Six of eight wins by knockout – in his last fight before coming to the UFC, he knocked out David Avellan in 18 seconds in a WEC bout on November 5, 2008.

•    KO of McKenzie was awarded Knockout of The Night honors.

Fight History

Skill Breakdown
Charts are compiled based on results from all fights.
Total Fights: 10
Record: 10-3-0
Summary: World-class wrestler
Fighter Info
Nickname: A-Train
From: Gunnison, Colorado USA
Fights Out Of: Phoenix, AZ USA
Age: 37
Height: 6′ 0" ( 182 cm )
Weight: 185 lb ( 84 kg )
College: Arizona State University
Degree: Journalism


Total Attempted Strikes
51% Successful
Types of Successful Strikes
39% Standing
40% Clinch
Striking Defense
The percentage of total strikes avoided


Total Takedowns
32% Successful
Grappling Totals by Type
Takedown Defense
The percentage of total takedowns avoided
Result Fighters Event Str TD Sub Pass Method Replay
Aaron Simpson
UFC® : Sanchez vs. Ellenberger

Feb 15, 2012

55 0 0 0 R3Decision – Split
Ronny Markes 62 2 0 1
Aaron Simpson

Oct 8, 2011

58 0 0 0 R3Decision – Unanimous
Eric Schafer 14 0 0 0
Brad Tavares
UFC® 132: Cruz vs. Faber

Jul 2, 2011

13 1 0 0 R3Decision – Unanimous
Aaron Simpson 43 2 2 0
Mario Miranda
UFC Fight Night™ : NOGUEIRA vs. DAVIS

Mar 26, 2011

14 0 0 0 R3Decision – Unanimous
Aaron Simpson 59 10 0 4
Aaron Simpson

Nov 20, 2010

43 5 0 0 R3Decision – Unanimous
Mark Munoz 76 1 0 0

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