Mindset Is Everything
Former SEAL Becomes MMA Fighter
It's time for the main event: "MITCH 'THE SMASHIN' FROG' AGUIAR!"
Aguiar dances to his entry music for the fans. When the referee yells, "Round 1, Fight!" the fighters touch gloves, and, after a few seconds, Aguiar throws a left hook hard enough to be heard over the screaming audience as his opponent is jolted to the side from blocking it.
Mixed martial artists (MMAs) are modern-day gladiators, waging war in a harsh environment called the octagon. MMA is considered an extreme combat sport, which permits two contestants to use the fighting techniques of not only wrestling, but also various martial arts, such as kickboxing, jiu-jitsu and muay-thai, among others.
"I love fighting," said former Special Operator 1st Class Mitch Aguiar, a U.S. Navy SEAL turned professional MMA fighter. "Some people go kayaking on the weekends, some ride a motorcycle; fighting, for me, is an extreme thrill."
For a while, Aguiar found this thrill in the Navy. He decided to enlist in January 2008 at the age of 18.
"A recruiter walked in and said, 'Hey, do you wanna join the Navy? You look like you're in good shape; do you want to be a SEAL?'" recalled Aguiar. "My mom was there, and she said, 'They were the rock stars of the military. If you were going to join the military, I could see you being a SEAL.'"
His mother, Maureen, is a former Sailor herself.
"I raised him," she said. "I know what he's capable of, and I knew he would just flourish in that [environment]."