CHICAGO, Ill. (June 23, 2010) - Jessica Aguilar, the American Top Team product and No. 7 flyweight in the world is the latest and final addition to Bellator Fighting Championships' Season 3 Women's Tournament.
Aguilar, a rising star in women's MMA, brings an impressive 8-4 professional record to the tournament, which begins this August. In her latest showing just three weeks ago, Aguilar knocked out Catia Vitoria four minutes into the first round.
Aguilar is the eighth and final fighter to be added to the tournament, and all eight are ranked among the world's 10 best in their respective weight classes. The others are Japanese MMA sensation Megumi Fujii - widely regarded as the No. 1 pound-for-pound female fighter in the world - 11-1 British tae-kwon-do black belt Rosi Sexton, 12-5 Seattle submission artist Lisa Ward, 7-0 Southern California striker Jessica Pene, 8-4 New Mexico-based submission specialist Angela Magana , 5-1 Las Vegas-based powerhouse Lynn Alvarez, and 9-0 Irish sensation Aisling Daly.
The tournament begins on Aug. 12 and will once again be televised LIVE in primetime every Thursday night on FOX Sports Net and during special weekend highlight shows on NBC, Telemundo and the cable network mun2.
"This is my dream," Aguilar said. "Bellator is giving us 115 pounders a shot at showing the world what we can do. Whoever wins this tournament will have the right to say they are truly the best in the world. I just couldn't pass up that opportunity."
The 28-year-old, who was born in Mexico and raised in Houston, says she happened upon MMA four-and-a-half years ago on a whim. After moving to South Florida and entering the real estate industry, she needed a place to work out and eventually found a gym that offered aerobics classes as well combat training. One night, she decided to stick around for what she thought was a wrestling class.
"It ended up being a Brazilian jiu-jitsu class, and I loved it ... I never looked back," she said.
One month later, Aguilar was competing and winning BJJ tournaments. She made her pro MMA debut in February 2006 when she was tapped as a late replacement to fight fellow top-ten 115 pounder Lisa Ward. A life-long athlete, Aguilar took the fight without hesitation on just five days notice.
"I grew up with big brothers and I figured, what could another 115-pound woman do to me?" she said.
True to form, Aguilar showed the extent of her tremendous athleticism, taking Ward all three rounds before eventually succumbing to a rear naked choke with just three seconds left in the fight. Although she lost, the fight inspired Aguilar to train full time and fight for a living. At the ATT camp in Coconut Creek, Fla., she now rolls with some of the top male fighters in the world.
"They call me pequeña - I'm like a sister to them," she says. "Having brothers myself, it felt really comfortable, like a family environment."
Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney said Aguilar's fierce fighting style compelled him to make her the final addition to the Season 3 Women's Tournament.
"Jessica Aguilar has that athletic X-factor that makes her competitive in almost any match-up," Rebney said. "She is a great final addition to our Season 3 Women's Tournament."
For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Bellator. Tickets are available at www.Ticketmaster.com.
About Bellator Fighting Championships:
Bellator Fighting Championships is a Mixed Martial Arts promotional company based in Chicago. Bellator's founder/CEO, Bjorn Rebney, is an experienced fighting sports and entertainment professional with a deep commitment to the purity and integrity of the sport of MMA and its athletes. Bellator Fighting Championships' executive team is comprised of top industry professionals in the areas of live event production, television production, fighter relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations.