The 25-year-old Aaron Cañarte is from Guayaquil, Ecuador, and now lives in Tijuana, Mexico. He trains with top prospects like the Martinetti brothers, and UFC fighters Manuel Torres and Michael Morales at Entram MMA.
I first came across Cañarte when he was 3-0 fighting in local shows out of Ecuador. He would go on to capture the regional featherweight title for Oro Fighting Championship. Today, Cañarte is 8-0 and fights for Ultimate Warrior Challenge streaming exclusively on UFC Fight Pass. He went 5-0 as an amateur and prior to turning pro, he did some time kickboxing including for the well-known WGP. His kickboxing record is 5-1 with his only loss going to former UFC fighter Rony Jason. A fight Cañarte arguably won.
Early on as an amateur, Cañarte was just knocking guys out. Growing with each fight, he now mixes up some wrestling into his arsenal. With his kickboxing background, he’s more conventional and picks his kicks. He does a solid job at attacking the lower body, chopping away at the legs and going after the liver.
Aaron also likes to go to the body with his hands. He’ll throw the jab to the body while throwing body-head combinations. He gets more comfortable as the fight goes, and with that you’ll see how he continuously puts his hands together better, along with his combinations including more elbows and knees.
Wrestling-wise, Cañarte is capable. He can’t shoot from too far out, but does drive-in on the legs to get more leverage. He has a good understanding of getting in on the legs and getting his head below their waist to get that takedown. His setups could be better, but it’s definitely better compared to where it was early in his career.
Defensively, Cañarte has been taken down and has been put on skates before. The times he’s been taken down, he’s gotten right back up. His chin is maybe a little concerning considering he’s been wobbled and has been close to being finished a few times. On the opposite side, he’s shown to be extremely tough. It’s worth mentioning, his striking defense isn’t bad as his hands are up and usually has good evasive footwork. He can also be vulnerable in exchanges when he sits in the pocket too long.
“Tommy Gun” is only 25-years-old, so he can be someone we all talk about in the future. He needs a step-up in competition though, to prove himself more. He’s fought tough dudes, but it’s been lower-level opposition. The young man has a good team behind him though, and with time on his side while actively fighting, he has some promise.
Watch Aaron Cañarte attempt to improve his record to 9-0 this Friday for UWC 33 airing exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.