On Saturday, September 21st, Aaron ” Yoda” Williams of Ocean Springs, MS will be the main event at Atlas 37, from the IP Casino. I recently chatted with Aaron to get to know a little bit more about one of the staples of the local MMA scence. Have a look!
SS: Hi Aaron! Can you tell us a little bit about how you got started in MMA and how you got the name “Yoda”?
AW: I started training in MMA about 20 years ago, back when it was called NHB (no hold barred). I stepped into John Dixon’s gym and was hooked. 6 months later, I took my first fight. An old training partner, J.C. Pennington gave me the nickname. I don’t really remember how it stuck, I just know that I was always able to make things happen on the mat that shouldn’t have really happened.
SS: What is is that makes you continue to fight and also defend your belt, all these years later?
AW: I’m 44 years old and I see this as a test to myself. I’ve had many ups and downs and I’ve learned from both. I see myself as a man that will never let fear or regret dictate my life. I’ve been defending my titles in multiple organizations for many years. I’m about to be tested once again and I will either rise to the occasion or be my own worst critic.
SS: What do you think about the local MMA scene and all the up-and-coming fighters that are currently climbing through the ranks?
AW: My advice to the guys is to work hard because soon you will know what this sport is to you. It has to be something you enjoy or something that shows the type of man or woman you are. You will acquire a lot of things, a family, a work ethic, a sense of pride for something more than just yourself but only if you use all of this the right way. Also, don’t do it just for the money. The start of a promotion can be a good or a bad thing. It can give one of the fastest growing sports many platforms for all of these fights as long as we can set aside the nonsense and work together. It can help the fighters get what they deserve because when more promotions compete, the more the fighters get. I’m even a co-partner of a new promotion and will still fight for another organization.
SS: Do you ever get nervous for a fight?
AW: I only ever get nervous at the thought of not performing well. I notice that I perform better when I can go in there and block everything out and enjoy myself.
SS: Thanks so much for your time and chatting with us! Is there anyone you want to shoutout?
AW: I want to thank my wife and my family and everyone that has come on this journey with me I have set up for myself. I’ve let this sport steal so much time from them because if I’m not working, I’m training. If it wasn’t for everything that has happened in my life, I would not be the man I am, or surrounded by the people I love and call family, even if we don’t have the same blood running through our veins!
So y’all, wise words by the man that so many people call “Yoda.” It’s like his wisdom just seeps through his skin, kind of like that natural fighting ability that he has. Check him out this Saturday, September 21, 2019 at the IP Biloxi Hotel and Casino. Due to a last minute opponent change, Aaron will be fighting at 160 pounds!
Tickets are still available. Go to atlastfights.com for more info.