On Saturday, January 18th, World Series of Fighting returns to NBCSN to crown its first women’s strawweight champion when #1 ranked Jessica Aguilar takes on relatively unknown fighter Alida Gray. This is the first women’s fight to take place in the WSOF, and Jessica Aguilar feels that it has been all the work she has put in throughout her career that has gotten here to this point.
Aguilar’s case is an interesting one, as her signing with World Series of Fighting was followed a week later by the UFC’s announcement of a strawweight season of The Ultimate Fighter that will crown a 115-pound champion in the UFC. She isn’t letting the missed opportunity get to her though, and was all positive on Thursday’s pre-fight conference call, expressing a great appreciation for her current position:
“I just can’t be more grateful. I’m ready and prepared, this is my last week of hard training and I’m going to give the fans what I always give, the best of me. I’m going to leave everything inside of that cage, and I’m really excited. I’m really grateful.”
When asked how she handles being the world’s best strawweight, Aguilar credited her teammates at ATT, and how seriously she takes MMA.
“I believe that all that hard work that I’ve put in these seven and a half year is now coming to flourish you know. It’s all my team, American Top Team, we’ve worked very hard and we’ve had a goal since I’ve started, to take this sport seriously, and here I am. When they say ‘hard work pays off’, it does pay off and here I am.”
Her opponent, Alida Gray, isn’t intimidated by Aguilar’s resume, and didn’t hesitate to take such a large step up in competition.
“Being who I am, I’m not going to turn away or shy away from a fight. I’m ready for this. I’ve been doing judo since I was eleven years old. I’ve been competitive all my life, and I’m ready for this.”
When asked about how the fight itself will play out, Gray was just as enthusiastic as her opponent.
“I’m just going to bring a fight. I know she’s excited for her first world title fight, and I’m ready to take it away from her.”