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Aaron Riley Bio

Aaron Matthew Riley (born December 9, 1980) is a retired American mixed martial artist who most recently competed in the Lightweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. A professional competitor from 1997-2013, he has also formerly competed in PRIDE, the IFL, Shooto, and BodogFIGHT. Aside from mixed martial arts, Riley has also competed in professional boxing.


  • 1 Background
  • 2 Mixed martial arts career
    • 2.1 Early career
    • 2.2 Ultimate Fighting Championship
    • 2.3 Pride Fighting Championships, BodogFIGHT, and the IFL
    • 2.4 Return to the UFC
  • 3 Championships and accomplishments
  • 4 Mixed martial arts record
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links


Riley was born and raised in Tell City, Indiana. Growing up, he watched the UFC since its first event in 1993, and fell in love with the sport of mixed martial arts. Riley competed in boxing, winning a Golden Gloves Championship, and also competed in wrestling for three years at Tell City High School.

Mixed martial arts career

Early career

Riley made his professional debut in 1997 at the age of 16 for the HOOKnSHOOT organization. He received his first career loss in his second fight via kneebar, and then won ten consecutive fights. Riley then lost two consecutive fights against future UFC veterans Yves Edwards and Falaniko Vitale.

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Riley made his UFC debut against future EliteXC Middleweight Champion Robbie Lawler at UFC 37. Riley lost the fight via unanimous decision. Four years later, he fought again for the organization against Spencer Fisher at UFC Fight Night 3, and lost via TKO.

Pride Fighting Championships, BodogFIGHT, and the IFL

Riley made his PRIDE debut at PRIDE Bushido 7 against Michihiro Omigawa, who was making his mixed martial arts debut. Riley was successful in his first and only fight with the Japanese organization, winning via head kick knockout in the first round.

Riley then participated in two bouts for the BodogFIGHT organization. His first fight was in Costa Rica, which he won via armbar and then fought against future Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez, but lost via knockout.

In Riley's next fight, he debuted in the International Fight League against Ryan Schultz, who was the last IFL Lightweight Champion. Riley lost the fight via unanimous decision.

Return to the UFC

Riley returned to the UFC on November 15, 2008 at UFC 91 against Jorge Gurgel. Aaron beat Gurgel by unanimous decision, winning Fight of the Night honors.

Riley next faced TUF 8 cast member Shane Nelson at UFC 96, losing via controversial first round TKO.

A rematch with Nelson was scheduled immediately, for UFC 101, which Riley won via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

At UFC 105 he was defeated by TUF winner Ross Pearson via TKO in the second round after a flying knee by Pearson opened up several cuts on Riley's face. Doctors viewed the cuts on Riley's face, and came to the conclusion that he was unable to continue.

Riley then rebounded with a unanimous decision win over Joe Brammer on May 29, 2010 at UFC 114.

Riley was expected to face UFC newcomer Pat Audinwood on September 25, 2010 at UFC 119, but Riley was forced from the card with an injury and replaced by Thiago Tavares.

Riley was defeated by Tony Ferguson on September 24, 2011 at UFC 135. While the fight was competitive early, Ferguson landed a strong left uppercut, and Ferguson dominated the remaining two minutes of the round. Immediately after the end of the first round, Riley told his corner that his jaw was broken. The fight was declared a TKO victory for Ferguson, as ringside doctors would not allow Riley to continue. Riley had previously suffered a broken jaw when he fought Spencer Fisher at UFC Fight Night 3.

Riley was expected to face Cody McKenzie on May 15, 2012 at UFC on Fuel TV: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier. However, Riley was pulled from the event and replaced by promotional newcomer Marcus LeVesseur.

After nearly two years away from the sport, Riley returned to face Justin Salas on July 27, 2013 at UFC on Fox 8. He lost the back-and-forth fight by split decision. He retired from MMA fighting following his loss to Salas.

Championships and accomplishments

  • Ultimate Fighting Championship
    • Fight of the Night (One time) vs. Jorge Gurgel

Mixed martial arts record

External links

  • Official UFC Profile
  • Professional MMA record for Aaron Riley from Sherdog Edit this at Wikidata
  • Instructor Profile at Jeff Gordon's Mixed Martial Arts Academy

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