Longview is best known for its hard knocks on the football field, but soon this East Texas city could land on the map for the punches it throws in the cage.
"He came up through the ranks very fast. He had 15 amateur fights, turned pro and went 9-0 before he has his first loss to a UCF veteran. A guy who was probably fighting when Kevin first started," said Wade Pomeroy, Head Coach of Longview MMA Team 515.
Kevin Aguilar is a Harmony native who, moved to Longview after graduating high school. One day he walked into the mall, learned about a gym called Athletic Performance, and the rest is history.
"I've always been passionate about martial arts," Kevin Aguilar said. The MMA professional fighter and current LFC champion added, "I always loved the Kung Fu movies, the martial arts movie. Watching Jackie Chan and Jean-Claude Van Damme. They were just an inspiration to me and I would be like 'wow it would be so great to do what they do and be a fighter'."
Nicknamed "The Angel of Death", Aguilar is currently 12 and 1, earning three titles so far in his professional career of mixed martial arts.
As the current Legacy Fighting Alliance World Featherweight Champion, Aguilar has proven his talents are top notch. But like every athlete trying to move up in their sport, Aguilar is still waiting to see is name on a UFC card.
"It's passed time for him to get that call, because he is at the level. We are just looking to progress. Every level he has competed at, he has won a championship. So the next logical step is to get that UFC belt," said Larry Maxon, Muay Thia instructor at Athletic Performance.
After meeting with UCF officials a few weeks ago in Las Vegas, Aguilar's phone could be ringing sooner rather than later. Either way, Aguilar will be ready.
"It's a very exciting time in the gym. Kevin Aguilar, I've always said is going to make it there he is going to be there. He is probably going to be the first guy in the gym to make it there, because of his discipline," said Pomeroy.
"You're in here your training day to day, just like people exercise everyday. This is something you love to do, this is something we love to do. We love to come in here, we love to train, we love to learn, we get better. So we always stay ready for these fights and an opportunity to rise up," said Aguilar.
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