Kevin Aguilar has known for quite some time that he was ready for the UFC.
The former LFA featherweight champion has been on a tear since losing the only fight of his career back in 2013 and Aguilar was just waiting for the day his call would finally come to join other elite athletes on the UFC roster.
Aguilar has won four of his past seven fights by knockout or TKO including a pair of vicious finishes against UFC veteran Damon Jackson and ‘Ultimate Fighter’ alum Thanh Le. Back in July, Aguilar finally got a call from the UFC but it wasn’t quite what he expected because he was being offered a fight on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series on short notice at 155 pounds.
It obviously wasn’t the perfect situation and it there were no guarantees that a win would land him a UFC contract. Still, Aguilar didn’t blink and he quickly accepted the fight.
He ended up winning a hard fought split decision over previously undefeated prospect Joey Gomez but he didn’t get offered a UFC contract.
“Whenever I was on the Contender Series, it was a good opportunity to show out in front of the boss man Dana White and everybody else. Just to show them that I can step up on short notice, step up a weight class and fight hard and make it a great fight for them,” Aguilar said when speaking to MMAWeekly. “They were looking for quick knockouts and I understand that.”
While he didn’t get brought up to the big leagues on that night, Aguilar still got the long awaited call to join the UFC roster when veteran featherweight Rick Glenn needed a short notice opponent for ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ 28 Finale this Friday in Las Vegas.
Once again, Aguilar was more than ready to accept the challenge.
“Whenever they gave me the call, we knew it was coming and we’re ready to go. Mentally and physically focused and ready to go,” Aguilar said.
“We didn’t even think about it. Of course, we took the fight. Whenever the UFC comes knocking at your door saying ‘hey, we need you’, you don’t turn them down. You don’t turn them away and say no, I’m not in shape, I’m not ready. You take the fight and you get ready. You better be ready.”
Perhaps the best part about the short notice opportunity is that Aguilar isn’t facing a random fighter on the roster but rather a veteran with some impressive wins on his UFC resume already.
Glenn has proven to be a tough out for anybody in the world at 145-pounds and that’s exactly the kind of fight that Aguilar wanted for his Octagon debut.
“He’s a tough guy,” Aguilar said about Glenn. “Long, tall, 145-pounder, well established, well-rounded. He’s a dangerous guy and we couldn’t be happier with the opportunity to fight him. We always want to fight tough guys and Rick Glenn is a tough guy. As tough as they come. We’re ready to fight Rick Glenn.
“It’s a much bigger stage for me and I get to show out in my weight class. I’m going to be able to show people what I’m capable of when I go in there and destroy my opponent.”
If there’s one thing that Aguilar’s known for beyond his brutal knockouts, it’s his exciting style whenever he steps in the cage.
Aguilar can’t promise that he’ll win a bonus every time he competes in the UFC but he promises that his name will be in the running whenever he steps inside that Octagon.
“This first fight is going to set the tone for what Dana White and everybody else sees in me,” Aguilar said. “Is this guy going to be a good fit for us? Is this guy on the level? That’s all the pressure I need to really want to stand out and perform to my max. To not let them think otherwise of me.
“I’m going to go in there and kill it for them.”