Surprising turns was the name of the game in 2013 for top ranked women’s strawweight fighter Jessica “Jag” Aguilar.
Firstly, her home promotion for the last couple years, Bellator, decided to cease all women’s MMA within the company, immediately making Aguilar one of the sport’s top free agents. That was followed by Aguilar’s decision to sign with the World Series of Fighting, a promotion that had never hosted women’s MMA in its brief history.
All the while, Aguilar finished her year unblemished, raising her current winning streak to seven and raising her overall record to 16-4.
“I didn’t fight too much, but I defended my ranking twice, in March and then again in October,” said Aguilar. “Bellator ended up eliminating the women’s division, so I was sad about that, but I was happy just to know there were new opportunities coming (with the WSOF).”
Looking back at her time in Bellator, Aguilar is saddened they shuttered their women’s divisions, but holds no grudge against them for their decision.
“It wasn’t even about being disappointed with them,” she said. “Bellator was great to me.
“They gave me an opportunity, so I’m grateful to them. Of course I am sad because I had been with them for a while and we had grown together, but they decided to go a different route. We finished our contract on good terms and still have a great relationship with them.”
Aguilar is looking forward to helping grow WSOF’s women’s division and become the foundation they can build upon in 2014.
“Any company that gives me the opportunity to showcase my skills, treats me well, and allows me to showcase my skills, I’m very passionate about it,” she said. “I’m going to represent and give 100 percent and help them out as much as possible.”
Aguilar’s first bout for the company will come at their Jan. 18 show in Hollywood, Fla., when she takes on undefeated prospect Alida Gray (4-0) for the company’s inaugural 115-pound women’s championship.
“Alida is a very tough opponent,” said Aguilar. “She likes to bang and I expect her to come out really strong.
“I’m training really hard with the American Top Team for everything and I’ll be ready for whatever she brings. I’ll be ready to bang too and it’s going to be an exciting fight.”
Looking ahead to 2014, Aguilar’s task is laid out before her: win the WSOF championship and continue to be one of the best female fighters in the world.
“My first goal is to get that first WSOF title on Jan. 18 and continue being the face of the strawweight division and show the world why I’m the best in this division,” she said. “That’s my goal in 2014 and I’m going to be happy to finally have a world title around my waist.”