For his pro debut this past January versus Brad Pennington at SFL 32, former Navy SEAL Mitch Aguiar showed the determination he learned in the military and was able to pick up a third-round stoppage in a bout that ended up being his most difficult to date.
For Aguiar, the fact that the fight wasn’t easy is a big reason he’s so pleased with how he was able to perform and pull out the win.
“I think the fight went really well and I thought it was a very exciting fight for everyone who came out to watch,” Aguiar told MMAWeekly.com. “It lived up to the anticipation.
“It was a harder fight than I was expecting, but I was glad to be pushed because I feel we grow more from tough fights than easy ones.”
One of the reasons Aguiar was able to turn pro after nearly five years of amateur fights is because his military commitments were met, and now he’s able to turn his focus solely to MMA.
“January 1, 2018, was my last day in the Navy,” said Aguiar. “Once I got out of the Navy, I could go pro. I couldn’t do as many fights as I wanted to, but I was still able to do it in my free time.
“(What I took from the military and applied to MMA was) just hard work and pushing yourself. It’s different fighting overseas in a war than fighting in a cage, but you can still apply the same warrior mentality inside the cage that you have on the battlefield.”
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This Friday in Newport News, Virginia, Aguiar (1-0) will look to pick up his second pro win when he takes on Mumia Abu Dey Ali (2-1) in a main card 170-pound bout.
“I’ve done most of my fights in Norfolk, Virginia, where the world’s largest naval base is,” Aguiar said. “The area here is very heavy with military and is very pro-military. I’m used to fighting in front of military crowds. It’s awesome.
“I go into every fight with the same mentality of not caring who is in front of me; I’m going to attack them with everything I have.”
Should Aguiar come out of Friday’s bout healthy, he sees no reason to show down in the closing months of 2018.
“I’m definitely a go with the flow kind of guy, even in the career sense,” said Aguiar. “Hopefully everything goes well in this fight and everyone walks away without any serious injuries, and we can take on another fight quickly if the schedule permits.”