LONGVIEW, Texas — Kevin "The Angel of Death" Aguilar of Longview, is a professional UFC fighter and is ranked 20th in his weight class.
Aguilar’s next UFC fight is fast approaching. On Saturday, June 22, he will face 29th-ranked Dan Ige in the octagon for UFC Fight Night 154.
Aguilar says he is ready to enter the octagon and get to work.
"He's ready to come out there and beat an up-and-comer like myself," Aguilar said. "But I'm ready. I'm ready to do the same thing. He's an up-and-comer. I'm ready to go to war with him, too."
Fighting on a nationally televised broadcast may seem like it comes with a million-dollar payday, but Aguilar says this is not the case for most fighters.
"Fighting, it's getting there when it comes to paying the bills, but you know it's not quite there yet," Aguilar said. A lot of people have the misconception that because you're in the UFC and you're fighting on ESPN, you make a $1 million a fight. Not true. We're just like everybody else. We still have day jobs, we still go to work, we still do what we can and make money on the side."
During the day, he puts in hours at Sign Pro. However, when he gets off, he heads to the Longview MMA gym to train.
Of course, every fighter would rather have training as their day job and Aguilar says this is part of what drives him.
"It's a chance to say, 'Hey, if I work and just kill myself right now I might [get to where] all I have to do is fight and train, after a few more fights,' that's always been the endgame just fighting," Aguilar said.
Day job or not, Aguilar is confident his training will prepare him for victory.
"I’m going to push the tempo and I’m predicting a knockout in the first round," Aguilar said.
Aguilar is part of Longview MMA Team 515, a gym frequented by a handful of other professional fighters, including fellow East Texan, UFC welterweight Derrick Krantz. Aguilar says his 515 teammates play a huge role in preparing him to be at his best.
"All the guys that I need are here that help me get ready for my fights," Aguliar said. "Everybody who helps me get ready, they mimic my fighters to the 't.' If I can hang with these guys I can beat anybody."
This preparation combined with Aguilar’s talents make his 515 coaches confident he will finish the job on in 10 days.
"I don't see a way, whether it's standing up or on the ground, that Kevin loses this fight," 515 Muy Thai coach Larry Maxson said. "I mean, [I've] got a ton of respect for Dan [Ige] and his team, but got confidence in my guys."