Aaron Simpson is readying for his second bout at welterweight on Friday at UFC on FX 5, and he’s feeling better than ever before.
Prior to his last bout, Simpson fought his entire MMA career at 185lbs, but noticing that he was starting to give up more and more size to opponents he decided to make the move down to 170lbs instead.
The experiment paid off with his last bout as he defeated Kenny Robertson in July, and now Simpson looks to duplicate that success on Friday against Mike Pierce.
The weight cut down to 170lbs was a relatively easy endeavor according to Simpson, who eats an entirely vegan diet where he avoids any animal meat or animal related products.
“I feel amazing, my energy levels are way up, and it seems to be the perfect diet, the perfect way for the weight cut,” Simpson told MMAWeekly Radio.
There seem to be a lot of misconceptions when it comes to athletes eating a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle according to Simpson that he somehow can’t maintain a healthy weight or muscle mass leading into fights.
He dispels these rumors by showing his performance in training and when he steps into the Octagon. Simpson doesn’t need meat to be a top level athlete, and challenges anybody to prove him wrong.
“I just think it’s the macho society that we live in. You’ve got to eat meat to get big and strong, that’s the only way to get big and strong, and you’ve got to eat animals. It’s so untrue and you’re seeing it more and more in athletes across the board. It’s just a healthier way,” said Simpson.
Simpson also points at examples like Houston Texans running back Arian Foster, who moved to a vegan diet prior to the 2012 season kicking off. When he first made the announcement, Foster’s decision was met with criticism by several players and journalists.
On the popular ESPN show First Take, host Skip Bayless stated, “I don’t get this. You cannot retain your muscle mass without animal protein. You can’t do the synthetic protein.”
Co-host Stephen A. Smith also weighed in saying, “So you become a vegan, you’re not as strong as you used to be.”
Simpson laughs at their comments because there are a lot of athletes eating a vegan or vegetarian diet, and doing just fine. Arian Foster happens to be one of them.
“Even Arian Foster who is having a great NFL season this year became vegan and it’s proving people wrong. A lot of people were doubting him, saying he couldn’t compete at that level. It’s just so untrue, I think it’s kind of funny. Kind of funny how ignorant people can be,” said Simpson.
“It’s uneducated, they’ve been fed information their entire lives, they’re kind of blinded to it. The more educated and the more you read into it, the more you see it is the healthiest diet out there.”
Thus far since cutting to welterweight on his vegan diet, Simpson has gone 1-0. As far as Arian Foster goes, he currently sits among the top five running backs in the league for total yards, as well as leading the league in touchdowns.
To hear Aaron Simpson’s entire interview check out Wednesday’s edition of MMAWeekly Radio HERE