When he fights for the first time in the UK, Floyd Mayweather will be facing an opponent no-one would have tipped as a potential adversary for one of the greatest boxers of all time.
Aaron Chalmers shot to fame when he took part in Geordie Shore, a reality TV show based in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, in 2014.
Now 35, Chalmers worked on oil rigs off the coast of Scotland before becoming a celebrity through his exploits, and he has gone on to immerse himself in a combat career.
As he prepares to meet Mayweather, here’s Chalmers’ record in the ring and more details on the curious bout ahead of him.
Aaron Chalmers MMA career: Has he fought in the UFC?
Chalmers has not fought in the UFC but he has appeared for Bellator MMA and, before that, in events held by the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts (BAMMA).
The welterweight and lightweight campaigner also took his first steps into boxing in 2022, working with Olympic medallist Michael Conlan and Adam Booth — a former trainer to the likes of heavyweight world champion David Haye — before appearing on a Wasserman Boxing card.
Aaron Chalmers record: Bellator and boxing matches
Chalmers began his MMA career with three wins in seven months on BAMMA shows in 2017, each of which came inside a round as he fought in Birmingham, London and Newcastle.
Those rapid wins lead to a six-fight, two-year deal that reportedly made him Bellator’s best-paid UK fighter, and he responded by beating Ash Griffiths via first-round submission in front of almost 12,000 people at Bellator 200 at Wembley Arena in May 2018.
Three fights in little more than a year followed, starting with the first defeat of Chalmers’ career when he was submitted in the third round by Corey Browning at Newcastle Arena in February 2019.
The Newcastle-born brawler recovered to beat Fred Freeman by triangle choke at Bellator 223 in London, then lost via decision to Austin Clem at Bellator 240 in Dublin.
His boxing debut came on the undercard of Nathan Gorman’s heavyweight fight against Tomas Salek at Liverpool Arena in June 2022 — a date for which Chalmers spent eight months preparing.
After a four-round fight, Chalmers was declared the 39-37 winner against Alexander Zeledon, an opponent who entered on a run of one win in 22 outings and currently has a record of six wins from 50 fights.
Aaron Chalmers (@AaronCGShore) gets the first victory under his belt of his boxing career.
Chalmers defeated Alexander Zeledon over four-rounds and got the decision. pic.twitter.com/ipM9qbO8xT
— Lewis Simpson (@LewisSimpsonMMA) June 17, 2022
After falling out of love with MMA, Chalmers had decided to pursue boxing while the UK was in lockdown at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He signed a deal with promoters Boxxer and broadcaster Sky Sports in early 2022 but has voiced his frustration at several setbacks, including an operation on his nose to drain a hematoma that held up his ambitions.
Boxxer CEO Ben Shalom said at the time: “Millions of people know Aaron Chalmers as a television star and professional MMA fighter, but he’s very serious about boxing and I’ve witnessed his dedication over the past 12 months.
“Adam Booth is one of the most accomplished trainers out there, so I’m looking forward to some exciting fights and seeing how far he can go.”
Geordie Shore: What happened to Aaron Chalmers?
For the uninitiated, Geordie Shore is the UK version of hit US TV show Jersey Shore and has been hugely successful.
It features a cast of between eight and 12 people living together in an area of Newcastle for several weeks and has run since 2011.
There have now been more than 200 episodes. Chalmers joined in the eighth series and, after the show had followed his MMA debut, quit in the 16th series after four years.
He went on to star in the programme Ex on the Beach in 2017, which involves cast members moving abroad to begin relationships before being interrupted by their ex-partners at various points.
Chalmers’ sporting career has become a priority for him since then but his profile owes much to his celebrity status, with an Instagram following of more than 2.4 million adding to his appeal to promoters and stars such as Mayweather in search of high-profile opponents.
Floyd Mayweather vs Aaron Chalmers fight: When is it?
The fight will take place at London’s 20,000-capacity O2 Arena on February 25, 2023.
“London is going to be full of Geordies that weekend,” said Chalmers, referring to Mayweather’s unbeaten record by adding: “It doesn’t get much bigger than this for me. Someone’s ‘0’ has to go.”
It is unclear whether the bout will be considered a competitive professional match. Mayweather’s fight with YouTuber Logan Paul in June 2021 was one example of the American’s tendency in recent years to take part in exhibition fights that do not have an official result.
Aaron ‘The Joker’ Chalmers: Where did he get his nickname from?
Chalmers’ nickname of ‘The Joker’ is said to have been given to him before he made his MMA debut.
“I want to try to build The Joker brand as big and as worldwide as I possibly can,” he told The Sun in 2020, speaking as he entered negotiations with wrestling promotion WWE.
“I entertained on MTV, which got me over to Bellator and then I can exaggerate it over to WWE.
“One thing that does not bother me is the cameras. What I lack in skillset, I make up for in character.”