The Ultimate Fighter 29 contestant Aaron Phillips (5-2) has taken his talents to Texas in order to train full-time. The middleweight expects to display the best version of himself to date in his upcoming fight.
In this interview with Phillips, he details the benefits of moving from his home state of Alaska to train, what he’s looking forward to most about getting back in the cage, his current career goals, and more.
Aaron Phillips Interview
Phillips has called Alaska home his entire life up until just recently. The 30-year-old picked up and moved down south in search of top-notch training facilities, which is exactly what he’s found.
“It’s basically like no days off,” he began when asked about training. “Even my days off, I go to the gym and just do Jiu-Jitsu. I used to train with YouTube, like you can only do so much with that. But now this is awesome, I’m living the dream now. I can go to the gym for a few hours, enjoy myself, and come out of it better.”
Phillips eventually chose Texas as his next stomping ground after building a bond with TUF 29 bantamweight champion Ricky Turcios, who’s a native of the Lone Star State.
“Yeah just getting out because Alaska doesn’t have as much to offer as anywhere else really,” Phillips said. “And talking to Ricky (Turcios) on the show, just talked it up so much I couldn’t resist.”
Upcoming Fight at FirePower 3
“I think I’ll have the edge on the feet,” he confirmed. “And on the ground, the amount of Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling I’ve been doing that I was lacking before the show, I’ve just been doing so much that I don’t feel like I’ll be in danger anywhere unless I leave an arm out or something. All around I’m just better. Before I was working and then training afterward, but now my job is training so I’m just living and breathing the fight life.”
Phillips is chomping at the bit to get back in the cage and showcase all of his sharpened tools and skills.
“Oh man I’m just so excited to get back in there,” he affirmed. “Immediately after the house, I was ready for another scrap and that was the toughest part, basically being put on hold until now. After seeing all the other TUF guys go out and be successful, for the most part, I just wanna go out there and follow suit.”
A Natural Born Finisher
Through seven pro fights and five victories, Phillips boasts a 100 percent finish rate, including four submissions.
“A lot of it is just grinding the guys down and taking advantage of their weaknesses,” Phillips replied. “And my body just kinda reacts to what they present me. Like a lot of the fights, I won by submission, and I’m like I’m not a submission guy why am I going for all these submissions? That was before all this training too. But if it’s there I’m gonna take it, I’ll rip something off if it’s there. I don’t wanna leave it to the judges, especially on the regional scene because finishes are what get you noticed.”
“My current goals right now are to keep learning, to keep doing this because this is the best point of my fight life just ’cause I’m not living that eight to five work schedule,” Phillips stated. “But my goal is to get into bigger promotions. The UFC is my ultimate goal, to put the town I’m from on the map would be really cool.”
“The other bigger promotions I wouldn’t shy away from either,” he continued. “Like ONE (Championship), Bellator, PFL. I wouldn’t shy away from those either. Maybe one or two more impressive performances, I could give them a call, and get things rolling.”
Make sure to watch Aaron Phillips on Nov. 27 as he takes center stage in the main event of FirePower 3 in Sacramento, California from the Crown Plaza Hotel.
If you enjoyed this conversation, check back here for more exclusive interviews with the world’s greatest mixed martial artists.