While the novel coronavirus has altered nearly every facet of life for most people, for welterweight Christian Aguilera the pandemic lockdown didn’t end up affecting his career as much as it might have others.
According to Aguilera the timing of things ended up falling in line with the way his career had been playing out to this point, so he didn’t see as much as an impact as some fighters did.
“Nothing really changed,” Aguilera told MMAWeekly.com. “At the start of the year I was trying to get a fight in at the end of January, so this is about right on schedule trying to get in three or four fights in a year. This is about average for me.
“I’m still training, still going to the gym, almost the same thing. The nighttime practices were a little bit harder to find, but that just made me focus on cardio a little bit more. We made due. I feel good.”
One thing the pandemic might have changed Aguilera’s career is how quickly he’d get into the UFC. Originally hoping to get an opportunity to compete for a roster spot, he was able to get directly into the promotion instead.
“I wasn’t 100% sure, but we were hoping for a Contender Series, but this is way better, so it worked out nice,” said Aguilera. “It was super exciting to get the call. It’s been 10 years waiting, waiting, waiting, so we finally got the call, and I’m ready and super excited for it.”
This Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada, Aguilera (13-6) will make his promotional debut at UFC Fight Night: Eye vs. Calvillo in a welterweight preliminary bout against fellow newcomer Anthony Ivy (8-2).
“It looks like (Ivy’s) a good grappler,” Aguilera said. “It looks like he’s’ going to try to press me towards the cage and try to take me down. So if I can just stop his game and put my game in (I can get the win).
“I feel like I’m better than him almost everywhere. No matter where the fight goes I’m confident we’re going to get it done.”
While Aguilera is looking to continue his 2020 unimpeded as much as possible, his main focus is on what’s directly in front of him. All other concerns are for his team to handle.
“I definitely want to get in a couple more fights this year, but I like to take them fight by fight,” said Aguilera. “Looking (forward to what is next) is what my coaches are for, what my manager is for, my job is to go in there and fight the guy in front of me.
“As long as I can get that done and put on a good performance, good things are going to keep happening.”