“There is an old saying that goes, “Behind every great man, there is a great woman.” Essentially the meaning equates to, “All successful men had a woman helping them to become successful.” Whether that be the mother who gave birth to and raised him from a child, or the woman that lays beside him at night, bears children with, and whom he calls wife.
The expression originated sometime in the first half of the 1900s. People use it to try to give recognition to the wives or mothers of successful men. This is because the women often helped the men in their lives a lot, but their work went unrecognized.
Rarely in mixed martial arts competition will you find a story about the supporting characters in a fighter’s life. Every now and again you get the story about Dee Devlin, Conor McGregor’s longtime girlfriend who allegedly stuck with him through thick and thin and the verge of homelessness.
You would see Ronda Rousey’s mom by her side for nearly every professional fight. Sometimes you will even see mother’s competing inside the UFC octagon featured in a video where they talk about their dual role as both a parent and a fighter.
But there is one common thread in all of these stories….. they are told after the cycle of fame and stardom have already kicked in. Other than videos mothers entering the cage after their sons are defeated and attacking his opponent, you rarely get a glimpse into the life of an aspiring MMA fighter and the rock that supports him or her.
Meet Aubrey Moser
While I’m about to tell you the story of Aubrey Moser, this isn’t truly just about Aubrey Moser. This is about the man or woman who makes everyday sacrifices to benefit the amateur or professional careers of those who compete in the arts. Whether one person reads this or 100 people read it, it’s a story that had to be told.
Aubrey is the loving wife of Ben Moser, the current Art of War Cage Fighting bantamweight champion. I chose to use Aubrey as the profile I feature in this piece for several reasons. First, I am a BMO (Ben Moser) fan. I genuinely the like the guy and enjoy watching his fights.
I see he is a hard working man both in and out of the cage and if you are friends with the couple on social media you can see they are passionate about competition but also life in general.
Ben is a military Veteran and together the couple are raising their 10-year old daughter. Like most fighters starting out in their career, Ben works a full time job so that he can produce for his family.
He sacrifices time away from his girls so that he can produce income and also make time to train MMA, hoping for that one day he gets the call to the bigger stage.
The struggle is one that 99 percent of fighters will endure. The percentage that make it is slim, but that does not stop them from trying.
How it began
“He started rolling Jiu Jitsu while he was in the Navy with a couple of his shipmates,” Aubrey said.
“When he came home, we found out that a local guy had mats in his garage and was looking for people to roll and condition with. I was interested in bettering myself and my fitness level so I decided to give it a try as well. When our first coach brought up an MMA fight to Ben, I was obviously apprehensive at first. He had been training for about a year and a half at the time and had done really well with it so what could I really say? I was on board, nervous, but on board.”
Not knowing what to expect
“I really didn’t know what to expect at the first fight,” she said. “It was a while back, but I remember experiencing a full spectrum of emotions. Excitement, anger, anxiety.
“He lost that fight by decision but fought like a true warrior.
“He really didn’t even have a scratch on him after that fight. I, on the other hand, had my fists clenched so tight that my hands were black and blue for a week or two and had no voice for the next week.
“Not much has changed in that department, as I’m still a tad on the wild side while he fights… As I’m sure everyone can vouch for that had ever been to a BMO fight. I don’t get in the cage with him, but I work just as hard at home to help get him ready for war.”
While Ben may get little time at home when he is not fighting, the time spent with family is even less while preparing to step inside the cage.
The way the sport is currently designed, most professional title fights are sanctioned for 25-minutes of action, some less at 15. Moser, still in the amateur system does not yet have to worry about that. His fights cannot go any longer than 3, 3-minute rounds. Even with a maximum fight time of 9-minutes, Moser is dedicated to spending hundreds of hours in the gym in preparation for a dream that may or may not ever come to fruition.
That’s where the support kicks in
He works 7a.m. to 5p.m. everyday, comes home, showers and heads to the gym,” she said.
“He usually gets home about 9:30 to 10 p.m. During fight camp, that’s the schedule everyday.
“We usually see him for about 45 minutes or so before he goes to the gym. I usually have a healthy dinner waiting for him when he gets home after the gym. I meal prep twice a week and work to keep everything he eats as lean and clean as possible. During fight camps, you can find me doing massive amounts of gym and work wash, meal prepping like a madwoman and holding down the Moser fort.”
Staying positive when needed
“I try to keep all of the household stress off of him as much as possible,” she said
“This fight camp was rough. We moved about 4 weeks before the fight, my dad had a major surgery and a guy high on drugs slammed his car into both of our parked cars. We got it from all angles but still came out victorious!”
“It’s hard to see him lose because it’s never a question of if he trained hard enough or put enough work in. He trains like a warrior. When he lost to Matt Turnbull, it was difficult to accept because it was such a close fight. Losing is a part of the sport but that doesn’t make it any easier or less upsetting.
Of course you never want to see the person you love lose while pursuing their passion but there’s a lot to be learned in a loss as well. No one is harder on my husband than he is on himself. I think seeing him pick apart the fights he had lost and be super tough on himself is the hardest part to sit back and watch from a spouses standpoint.”
There is no official word yet as to when BMO will defend his title or if he will move up to the pro division. The only sure thing is that Aubrey will be there cheering him on.
If you think you may know someone who represents the supporting role of an MMA spouse or family member is a positive and encouraging way, email us your ideas. We look forward to telling more stories like Aubrey’s.
Thank you to Lance Stein of LSS Photography for providing images from AOW3.