An inspirational MMA fighter from Wrexham is up for a worldwide 'fighting spirit' award in the sport. 

Aaron Aby, 32, was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when he was two weeks old and has also overcome stage three cancer to forge a successful MMA career. 

Wrexham-born Aaron, who prior to fighting, represented Wales' age grade sides at football and played alongside Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen. 

After receiving the all-clear from Cancer in 2019, Aaron was back fighting eight months later. 

The Leader: Aaron Aby in 2016 (left) and when he was battling cancer in 2019 (right).Aaron Aby in 2016 (left) and when he was battling cancer in 2019 (right).

READ MORE: Aaron Aby continues to inspire after beating former world champion

Since making his return, the flyweight has won and been involved in five fights, winning three, drawing one and losing one. 

For the bravery and commitment shown to make a fighting return, Aaron has been nominated for the World MMA Awards' fighting spirit of the year award. 

He is one of five nominees, with the four others all coming from the UFC. 

Aaron spoke to the Leader and revealed he hadn't quite got his head around the achievement of being nominated.

He said: "It came as a massive surprise, I had no incline it was going to happen, I just got tagged in a few things on Twitter and Instagram and saw it that way. 

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"It means a lot, my aim is to promote Cystic Fibrosis as a good story. I used to try and hide it in football growing up as I didn't want it to influence things, but when I moved into MMA, I wanted to promote it and give people hope.

"The best thing about this award is it's not for fighting ability or sporting ability, it's about spirit and doing it for the community.

"I'm really thankful and grateful for the support around me."

Aaron is coming to the end of a training camp ahead of his fight against Michelangelo Lupoli on August 13. 

The fight is on the card of Cage Warriors 142, which is being held in Wales, something Aaron is really looking forward to. 

He added: "I'm excited to fight in Wales and it will actually be at the arena where I had my first amateur competition around 10 years ago. 

"It's definitely going to be something to remember."

The Leader: Aaron Aby (right) receiving his F Jones Initiative award.Aaron Aby (right) receiving his F Jones Initiative award.

READ MORE: Inspirational Mixed Martial Arts star handed community hero award

Aaron has played a huge role in promoting Cystic Fibrosis and has inspired plenty, both with his fighting career but also in his running of the Inspire Performance Centre Gym (IPC) alongside his dad Jon in Gwersyllt. 

Despite everything he has been through, he is determined to keep moving forward. 

He added: "You can play the hand your dealt. Things happen, it's all about how you react. 

"There's going to be hard and dark days but it's all about clinging onto a bit of hope and moving forward with a purpose."

To vote for Aaron in the award nomination, visit