By Dave Madden @DMaddenMMA
Jessica “Jag” Aguilar (19-4-0) recently vacated her title as strawweight champion at the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) to make a run at the coveted UFC title. “Jag” chatted with Jade, correspondent of Collateral Damage MMA, to discuss the wheeling and dealing associated with being one of the world’s top strawweights; the two also corroborated their own deal in the process: chocolate for coffee.
One might imagine that leaving behind one belt and reaffirming your value by earning a new one would arouse issues with an equal amount of positives and negatives, but Aguilar only saw the move from WSOF to the UFC as a deal that worked in her favor.
“I hadn’t fought since November, so I had some time to think things through. I wanted to continue competing with the ladies in the strawweight division, and the UFC has that. I asked the WSOF to be released, and they agreed. When other promotions are opening up a division, it means there is a need for it, and there are good fighters, especially in the UFC: the largest organization.”
Sometimes, waiting for a transaction to complete is comparable to watching grass grow, snails race, or paint dry, though Aguilar doesn’t let the wait game hold her back.
“We’re in talks with the UFC, and I’m waiting for them. I continue my life and am still training, but I’m waiting for them to give us a call back.”
No haggling, Aguilar slid her proposal across the table to the UFC matchmakers, which included an equal trade-in of her WSOF belt for a new, shiny UFC strap. To get there, she is very open to the idea of trading blows with Joanna Jedrzejczyk, the UFC’s current strawweight champion.
“I want to continue proving why I’m the best strawweight in the world. I will be watching that fight [UFC Fight Night Berlin, Germany]. I think she [Jedrzejczyk] has amazing skills, and I look forward to challenging myself against her.”
Social media, where life’s problems begin and never seem to end, acted as a medium for Aguilar and Carla Esparza, the UFC’s former strawweight champ, to exchange words, and Aguilar discussed this matchup.
“If we get a good deal, I’m a team player. My first choice is for that belt.”
Like any competitive business tycoon, Aguilar further displayed her professionalism by explaining the give-and-take that accompanies star-dome. What does Aguilar think of someone who generates a tremendous buzz like Paige VanZant, a strawweight who receives more attention than most?
“I think it’s fantastic. It’s up to the fighter how they want to be marketed and promoted. You have to be willing to work and go get it. If you want eyes on you, you have to go get those eyes on you. She [VanZant] is doing a great job, and it makes me happy to see a woman succeed, especially in a sport like this.”
Aguilar, a former correctional officer and actress got into the MMA game later in life, but she wouldn’t put any stipulations on how happy she is with how everything turned out.
“I started when I was twenty-six years old. I moved to south Florida. I went into a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class by mistake, and the rest is history. I signed up as a regular student and here I am. Almost a decade later, I’m now the greatest strawweight in the world.”
Working with American Top Team, the coaches and Aguilar participate in hand-to-hand commerce, and she wouldn’t want to be the clientele for any other team in the world.
“I’m surrounded by the right team, American Top Team. In 2006 when I joined American Top Team, I was the only girl there doing MMA. I learned a lot from those guys. It’s proven that it’s working, and I want to continue training under them and get that belt.”
In closing, Aguilar bartered with the audience to contact the UFC and its executives to let them know what you think should be next for this top-flight 115 pounder.
“One thing I want to ask my fans and your fans for: support. If you guys want to see me in the UFC, Tweet Dana [White], Lorenzo [Fertitta], and the UFC to let them know you guys want to see me inside the UFC cage.”
To support your efforts in creating a high-traffic zone of matchup industry, mimic similar tweets sent to the front office of the UFC:
— Jeremy Botter (@jeremybotter) May 27, 2015
— Daniel Burbull (@Burb5) May 18, 2015
Check out Jade Morris’ 1 on 1 time with Jessica Aguilar for yourself: