Honesdale grad Aaron Kennedy dominant in latest professional MMA match (2024)

Honesdale grad Aaron Kennedy dominant in latest professional MMA match (1)

BROADHEADSVILLE - Former Honesdale High School wrestling star Aaron Kennedy was nothing short of dominant in his most recent Mixed Martial Arts match.

Kennedy made short work of his opponent at Maverick MMA 25, powering his way to a first round victory over Jeremy Balboa.

The bout took place on Friday, December 1 at the Signature Event Center in Broadheadsville and ended with Kennedy winning by submission.

“This was a big fight and I was just surging with electricity!” Aaron exclaimed. “My opponent was undefeated and riding a six fight winning streak. I thought I would win, but to win like that? I honestly impressed myself.”

Honesdale grad Aaron Kennedy dominant in latest professional MMA match (2)

With this latest victory, Kennedy improved his record as a professional to 3-2. He’s now won three straight and is bursting with confidence.

“A lot of doors are going to start opening for me now,” Aaron said. “But, I just want to stay focused, stick to my system and keep my winning streak going.”

Kennedy is likely to fight again in the spring as part of Maverick MMA’s next event, which is tentatively slated for March 30.

Setting the Stage

Aaron is the son of Paul Kennedy and Donna Schiavo. He graduated from HHS in 2012

and then earned his undergraduate degree from Bloomsburg University in 2018.

Kennedy began his MMA career as an amateur back in 2014 and within three years he was ranked number one at his weight class in all of Pennsylvania.

He made his professional debut in 2018 and promptly suffered back-to-back losses. It was an experience that caused Kennedy to dig down deep and re-examine everything about his training regimen.

“I did a ton of soul searching and really grew up a lot,” Aaron said. “A huge part of that was getting optimal nutrition. I needed to create the energy to display my new abilities.”

Honesdale grad Aaron Kennedy dominant in latest professional MMA match (3)

All of Kennedy’s hard work and renewed focus paid big dividends almost immediately. He posted impressive wins in each of his next two fights, setting the stage for Friday’s prime time challenge.

Kennedy was coming off a bloody first round TKO of Justice Harris back in June. Meanwhile, his opponent’s most recent bout took place on August 26 and resulted in a win via split decision.

More than 100 local fans made the trip to Broadheadsville for this fascinating match-up between two tough, talented fighters … but it was an encounter that wasn’t destined to last very long.


Kennedy wasted no time in going on the offensive against Balboa.

The battle was set at 140 pounds, a compromise between the two fighters who normally compete at 135 and 140 respectively.

When the bell sounded, Kennedy roared out of his corner and unleashed a furious, relentless assault. Balboa was immediately back on his heels as the crowd went wild.

Moments later, Kennedy had his opponent on the mat, pummeling him unmercifully. It was over in the blink of an eye as the referee stopped the action at the 4:14 mark of the first round.

Honesdale grad Aaron Kennedy dominant in latest professional MMA match (4)

“I threw a couple fast jabs and a straight left hand followed by a takedown,” Aaron said. “He attempted a guillotine choke which I countered. I took his back, threw some punches and elbows to the sides of his head, and eventually submitted him with a modified rear naked choke.”

Kennedy is thrilled with the outcome, especially in light of the fact that he’d walked into the cage at a serious disadvantage. During the run-up to the bout, Kennedy had suffered an injury to his right hand. That meant he’d had to teach himself to fight left-handed.

Despite the injury, Kennedy still dominated right from the get-go.

“For me to show up against those odds while working around an injury, and dismantle the guy without even getting scratched is a hell of a thing,” Aaron said.


Kennedy is quick to point out that his success is a team effort.

Family members, friends, sponsors and fans support him every step of the way. From Honesdale, where he grew up, to Bloomsburg where he trains, Kennedy has the luxury of a strong support system.

“I have a pretty impressive group of fans,” Aaron said. “There are usually at least 100 of them screaming their faces off. I owe a lot to my fans already. Their loyalty and consistency means the world to me.

“All of the local business here in Bloomsburg that sponsor me have been so supportive.

And word is finally getting back to my hometown, so I’ve started to slowly but surely build a following of Honesdale people showing up which is really cool.“

Honesdale grad Aaron Kennedy dominant in latest professional MMA match (2024)


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