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 to 2013, he has also formerly competed in PRIDE, the IFL, Shooto, and BodogFIGHT. Aside from mixed martial arts, Riley has also competed in boxing (becoming a Golden Gloves champion) and wrestling. He is now a teacher Aid at Tell City Jr-Sr High School[3]

Aaron Riley
Born (1980-12-09) December 9, 1980 (age 41)
Tell City, Indiana, United States
Height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight155 lb (70 kg; 11.1 st)
Reach69 in (175 cm)
StyleBoxing, Wrestling
Fighting out ofAlbuquerque, New Mexico, United States
TeamJackson's Submission Fighting
American Top Team (formerly)[1][2]
Years active1997-2013
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout6
By submission13
By decision11
By knockout7
By submission2
By decision5
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog


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.[4][5]

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

Early careerEdit

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 ChampionshipEdit

Riley made his UFC debut against future EliteXC Middleweight Champion and UFC Welterweight 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 IFLEdit

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 UFCEdit

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.[6]

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.[7] Riley had previously suffered a broken jaw when he fought Spencer Fisher at UFC Fight Night 3.[8]

Riley was expected to face Cody McKenzie on May 15, 2012 at UFC on Fuel TV: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier.[9] However, Riley was pulled from the event and replaced by promotional newcomer Marcus LeVesseur.[10]

After nearly two years away from the sport, Riley returned to face Justin Salas on July 27, 2013 at UFC on Fox 8.[11] He lost the back-and-forth fight by split decision. He retired from MMA following his loss to Salas.[12]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
45 matches 30 wins 14 losses
By knockout 10 7
By submission 9 2
By decision 11 5
Draws 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 30–14–1 Justin Salas Decision (split) UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Moraga July 27, 2013 3 5:00 Seattle, Washington, United States
Loss 30–13–1 Tony Ferguson TKO (corner stoppage) UFC 135 September 24, 2011 1 5:00 Denver, Colorado, United States
Win 30–12–1 Joe Brammer Decision (unanimous) UFC 114 May 29, 2010 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 29–12–1 Ross Pearson TKO (doctor stoppage) UFC 105 November 14, 2009 2 4:34 Manchester, England
Win 29–11–1 Shane Nelson Decision (unanimous) UFC 101 August 8, 2009 3 5:00 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Loss 28–11–1 Shane Nelson TKO (punches) UFC 96 March 7, 2009 1 0:44 Columbus, Ohio, United States
Win 28–10–1 Jorge Gurgel Decision (unanimous) UFC 91 November 15, 2008 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Fight of the Night
Win 27–10–1 Steve Claveau Decision (unanimous) Xtreme MMA 5 September 13, 2008 3 5:00 Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Win 26–10–1 Thiago Meller Decision (unanimous) UWC: Invasion April 26, 2008 3 5:00 Fairfax, Virginia, United States
Loss 25–10–1 Ryan Schultz Decision (unanimous) IFL: 2007 Team Championship Final September 20, 2007 3 4:00 Hollywood, Florida, United States
Loss 25–9–1 Eddie Alvarez KO (punches) BodogFIGHT: USA vs Russia December 2, 2006 1 1:05 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada For BodogFIGHT Welterweight Championship
Win 25–8–1 Darrell Smith Submission (armbar) BodogFIGHT: To the Brink of War August 22, 2006 2 2:40 Costa Rica
Loss 25–8–1 Spencer Fisher TKO (doctor stoppage) UFC Fight Night 3 January 16, 2006 1 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 24–7–1 Michihiro Omigawa KO (head kick) PRIDE Bushido 7 May 22, 2005 1 6:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 23–7–1 Andrew Chappelle Decision HOOKnSHOOT: Arnold Classic March 4, 2005 3 5:00 Columbus, Ohio, United States
Win 22–7–1 Maicon Alarcao TKO (injury) AFC: Brazil 1 August 28, 2004 1 4:10 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Win 21–7–1 Nuri Shakir Decision (unanimous) HOOKnSHOOT: Live March 27, 2004 3 5:00 Evansville, Indiana, United States
Loss 20–7–1 Sam Morgan Submission (armbar) Shooto USA – Warrior Spirit: Evolution November 14, 2003 1 2:41 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 20–6–1 Cedric Marks Submission (armbar) Combate Extremo August 30, 2003 1 1:40 New Mexico
Win 19–6–1 Nick Gilardi TKO (submission to punches) PPKA: Ultimate Fight Night June 28, 2003 2 1:49 Yakima, Washington, United States
Loss 18–6–1 Chris Lytle KO (punch) HOOKnSHOOT: Boot Camp 1.1 March 8, 2003 1 3:31 Evansville, Indiana, United States
Win 18–5–1 Alexandre Barros Decision (unanimous) HOOKnSHOOT: Absolute Fighting Championships 1 December 13, 2002 3 5:00 Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, United States
Loss 17–5–1 Robbie Lawler Decision (unanimous) UFC 37 May 10, 2002 3 5:00 Bossier City, Louisiana, United States
Win 17–4–1 Mike Willus TKO (strikes) HOOKnSHOOT: Kings 1 November 17, 2001 1 N/A Evansville, Indiana, United States
Loss 16–4–1 Yves Edwards Decision (unanimous) HOOKnSHOOT: Showdown July 14, 2001 3 5:00 Evansville, Indiana, United States
Win 16–3–1 Earl Thompson Submission (armbar) UFCF: War 2001 April 21, 2001 1 2:08 Kirkland, Washington, United States
Win 15–3–1 Steve Berger Decision (unanimous) HOOKnSHOOT: Triumph August 19, 2000 3 5:00 Evansville, Indiana, United States
Win 14–3–1 Aaron Stregles KO (punches) Talon Challenge 2 July 14, 2000 1 N/A Harlingen, Texas, United States
Win 13–3–1 Jeremy Bennett KO (punches) HOOKnSHOOT: Double Fury 1 March 17, 2000 1 N/A United States
Win 12–3–1 Colin O'Rourke Decision (majority) WEF 8: Goin' Platinum January 15, 2000 3 4:00 Rome, Georgia, United States
Loss 11–3–1 Falaniko Vitale TKO (punches) RITC 2: Marching of the Warriors October 15, 1999 1 7:06 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Loss 11–2–1 Yves Edwards Decision HOOKnSHOOT: Texas Heat October 2, 1999 1 20:00 Texas, United States
Win 11–1–1 Joe Merit Submission (armbar) Lionheart Invitational September 1, 1999 1 2:24 Georgia, United States
Draw 10–1–1 CJ Fernandes Draw Submission Fighting Championships 8 August 7, 1999 1 15:00 Belleville, Illinois, United States
Win 10–1 Billy Johnson TKO (submission to punches) HOOKnSHOOT: Breakout July 24, 1999 1 2:10 Evansville, Indiana, United States
Win 9–1 Rob Tallack TKO (punches) Kakidamisi 1: Samurai Challenge July 11, 1999 1 2:52 United States
Win 8–1 Tony Apponte TKO (submission to punches) Extreme Shootout June 25, 1999 1 7:31 McAllen, Texas, United States
Win 7–1 James Julian Submission (armbar) Submission Fighting Championships 6 April 30, 1999 1 N/A O'Fallon, Illinois, United States
Win 6–1 Shane Garrett Decision (unanimous) HOOKnSHOOT: Horizon March 20, 1999 1 20:00 Evansville, Indiana, United States
Win 5–1 Phil Stroffolino TKO (submission to punches) HOOKnSHOOT: Eruption November 7, 1998 1 3:27 Evansville, Indiana, United States
Win 4–1 Brian Boclair Submission (armbar) HOOKnSHOOT: Quest August 14, 1998 1 1:35 United States
Win 3–1 Chris Mounce Submission (keylock) HOOKnSHOOT: N-Vision June 12, 1998 N/A N/A United States
Win 2–1 Billy Johnson Submission (armbar) HOOKnSHOOT: Elite September 20, 1997 1 5:08 Indiana, United States
Loss 1–1 Mario Roberto Submission (kneebar) HOOKnSHOOT: When Worlds Collide July 18, 1997 N/A N/A United States
Win 1–0 Chris Malgieri Submission (heel hook) HOOKnSHOOT: When Worlds Collide July 18, 1997 N/A N/A United States


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-20. Retrieved 2013-07-21.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Aaron Riley | UFC". 14 September 2018.
  3. ^ "Aaron Riley | UFC". 14 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-20. Retrieved 2013-07-21.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Aaron Riley | UFC". 14 September 2018.
  6. ^ "Aaron Riley out, Thiago Tavares in against Pat Audinwood at UFC 119". mmajunkie.com. August 17, 2010. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2010.
  7. ^ Stupp, Dann. "UFC 135 preliminary-card results: Ferguson breaks Riley's jaw, Boetsch cruises". MMAJunkie.com. Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  8. ^ "TITLE SHOT AND BODOG A FIT FOR AARON RILEY". mmaweekly.com. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  9. ^ "Aaron Riley vs. Cody McKenzie On Tap For UFC on FUEL TV 3". themmanews.com. Archived from the original on February 4, 2013. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
  10. ^ "Marcus LeVesseur replaces Aaron Riley, meets Cody McKenzie at UFC on FUEL TV 3". MMAjunkie.com. April 24, 2012. Archived from the original on April 26, 2012. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  11. ^ Staff (April 30, 2013). "Aaron Riley vs. Justin Salas added to July's UFC on FOX 8 event". mmajunkie.com. Archived from the original on May 3, 2013. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
  12. ^ MMAjunkie.com Staff (July 28, 2013). "Nine-time UFC veteran Aaron Riley retires following UFC on FOX 8 loss". mmajunkie.com.

External linksEdit