BANGOR – Fifteen months on the shelf for Aaron Lacey will now become seventeen, but this delay in his comeback comes as a relief to the lightweight fighter.
“The last couple weeks of training were definitely flying by the seat of my pants, putting it together last minute, trying to find people that still wanted to train, finding places to train because gyms were getting shut down,” said Lacey
Lacey has not been in the cage since November of 2018 as he recovered from cumulative damage to his knee that resulted in a meniscus scope which cost him half of the cartilage in that knee. “My mental state got worn down, it was harder to stay positive and look at the bright side of things, I kind of spiraled a little bit by not being able to have that release of endorphins,” said Lacey.
His last fight was at NEF 35, where he went against the grain, submitting Jon Lemke in under 2 minutes, despite a fight camp that he says only consisted of hitting hand pads and swimming due to his knee pain. “[Lemke] can take a shot, so in my head it was like ‘why do that? Why go that route?’ that’s where he’s strongest, why fight strength with strength when I take him in to waters he doesn’t know how to swim in and drown him,” said Lacey.
As Lacey regained his physical footing, the time off allowed him to regain his mental footing And gauge his future in mixed martial arts. “The time off definitely changed my mindset on a lot of things but what it did the most was kind of reassure me that I need and want to have in my life”
He never strayed from from his second family at young’s m-m-a in his period of inactivity, sharpening his eye for the fight game while helping his teammates. “I feel I have a very good mind for the sport, I break things down in a different way than other people do and I just used the time off to pass my knowledge on to my teammates,” said Lacey.
Lacey is scheduled to face James Herd at the rescheduled NEF 43 event on June 13 in Orono.