Luke Rockhold created quite the memorable moment in UFC 278’s co-main event two weekends ago (Aug. 20, 2022), but it wasn’t enough to get him a victory.
Mixed martial arts (MMA) in the modern day is still in several ways the “wild west” of sports, a description that it fully embodied in its earlier years. Before there was Rockhold’s oddly epic smearing of his blood in Paulo Costa’s face, Strawweight pioneer, Jessica Aguilar, won a fight with a similar sequence.
Rematching a fellow future UFC 115 pound competitor, Angela Magana, in March 2008, Aguilar got off a plane with zero training whatsoever to go in and compete. As a result, she walked away a winner for the second time when taking on Magana, after what the records show as a technical submission via blood in the eye ... one of the more confusing results to read when stumbling down a Wikipedia rabbit hole.
“I was in her guard and I was punching ... I had her close to the cage and I had my corner,” Aguilar told MMA Mania on BROADENED HORIZIN. “I was elbowing, I was hitting. And I think that from my nose, as I was standing and punching, I guess blood was getting on her. Like, it’s a fight, right? But I’m still punching and hitting and she’s like, ‘Stop, stop!’ She verbally said stop so the ref stopped the fight. It was a verbal stoppage because I was punching and elbowing and she said stop because my blood was falling in her face.
“Then she said about the ref, ‘Oh, they knew her so they stopped the fight...’ You said stop. So yes, that was crazy,” she concluded. “I would probably never like, rub my blood in somebody’s face. That would be kind of weird but yeah, that’s what happened.”
From that point onward, Aguilar went on to establish herself as one of the best fighters in the world before ultimately arriving in UFC. Albeit, perhaps a little bit later than she would have preferred.
Injuries and poor timing took their toll and Aguilar departed the promotion going 1-4 in five fights from 2015 to 2019. In 2022, Aguilar, 40, has hit the reset button in several ways. Most notably from the outsider perspective, she’s put the Strawweight division behind her permanently, dropping to Atomweight and joining RIZIN Fighting Federation.
Aguilar’s debut didn’t go her way this past month (July 31, 2022) at RIZIN 37, taking on the division’s arguable greatest of all time, Ayaka Hamasaki, in the opening round of the grand prix. However, the experience acted as quite an eye-opener, now aiming to up the activity levels before putting a bow on a fruitful career.
“When I work my way back up the atomweight division, I will rematch Ayaka for my retirement bout. How about that?” Aguilar said.
“There’s no timeline. I just think that I have to build some muscle, figure out that formula, win ... It’s not like before when I left the UFC. I was in a dark place and I did feel like it was time for me to retire because people were saying I’m too old and no, it’s not like that. I do this for the love, I want to continue being in the sport of MMA showing the younger girls that we can still do it and that everything is possible, it doesn’t matter about the age.”
Watch the full episode in the video embedded above or you can listen on Spotify.