Wrexham-born MMA fighter Aaron Aby has been training for his OKTAGON MMA flyweight world championship fight against Elias Garcia.
During his childhood, he played for football for Wales’ age-grade sides internationally, alongside current Wales captain Aaron Ramsey.
Having been raised in Wrexham, Aby is a life-long Wrexham AFC fan and spent a short stint at the Club as a youth team player.
Wrexham AFC player Ollie Palmer’s WXM Clothing is one of Aaron’s sponsors for the event, and the Red Dragons’ number nine visited Aby’s training camp last week to show his support.
Speaking about the trip, Palmer said: “It’s been great to come down here today. It’s a brilliant facility and something Aaron both needs and deserves.
“He’s a huge inspiration to a lot of people from the area, and it’s just about getting his story out there - we want as many people as possible to know how good he is at fighting, but also what a great person he is and everything he’s been through.
“Of course, we want to help tell his story. Sponsoring Aaron for the fight is about promoting that and pushing it for him, but it’s also about helping people from Wrexham and the rest of the UK.
“If his story can help even one person, that’s amazing. Because of the experiences he’s had, he’s in a position to be able to do that, and it just so happens he’s an incredible fighter as well.”
During the trip, Palmer spent time sparring on the pads with Aby, but admitted that it was a bit of a shock to the system.
He said: “Even spending a few minutes on the pads together today, I’m still trying to get my breath back! It’s a different level of fitness.
“To go for five rounds is incredible; I get tired wrestling my mate for two minutes at home, so you have to be incredibly fit and dedicated to do this.
“He’s worked so hard but knows he’s not going to be handed anything on the night, so he’s going to go into it fully fit and focused on bringing that belt home.”
Palmer isn’t the only one at the Club aware of Aby’s story and revealed that all of the squad have kept a keen eye on his progress.
“All the lads at the club know Aaron, they know his story and what a good guy he is. We both know how good this community is, because it’s helped both of us.
“I’m new to the area, having been here for a year and a half, and people have welcomed me with open arms. It’s been incredible to get to know the people and the community.
“Aaron is lucky enough to be from here; he knows a lot more people than me and has had the same backing and probably more, which he fully deserves. He’s got my support, Wrexham’s support and the whole of North Wales’ support.
“I’m sure there will be a lot of people supporting him around the UK and I know he appreciates that.”
Aaron praised his relationship with Palmer and thanked the 31-year-old for being a part of his journey.
"If you can get a local connection like the one, I have with Ollie, it's always appreciated, and to have someone like him as part of my journey is massive.
“I've grown up in Wrexham all my life, I've grown up with the town and the football club and that's a big part of who I am today, so it's been brilliant to have him down today.”
Everyone at Wrexham AFC would like to wish Aaron all the best of luck in his title fight against Elias Gracia.