Mitch "Smashin' Frog" Aguiar has turned in his Navy SEAL uniform for an American Flag sunga. The 10-year veteran of the U.S. Navy SEALs fought in his first professional MMA fight in January 2018 after previously fighting in 12 amateur fights while still serving in the Navy. The welterweight dominated during his amateur career with a record of 11-1 with nine of his victories ending in TKO or submission.
Aguiar gave us a few minutes of his time to discuss SEALs, MMA, and his new-found passion for entrepreneurship.
KC: What was the transition like from SEALs to MMA? How did you get into the sport?
MA: I started fighting competitively in 2012 and didn’t get out of the Navy until 2018, so there a quite a bit of a layover. The transition wasn’t an abrupt one. I’ve always enjoyed martial arts and always been an aggressive and protective person. I fell in love with all the different types of martial arts. I never really thought about doing it for a career. Once I started competing at a high-level I realized it was doable.
KC: How do you think your SEAL experience has helped you in MMA?
MA: I think I’ve grown a lot and learned a lot of life lessons. I dealt with challenges, adversity, and pushed myself in the Navy much like I have had to do in MMA. Whether you’re a SEAL or a fighter, you can’t quit and have to keep fighting.
You just recently fought and won in your first professional MMA match after 12 amateur matches. What was the feeling like to not only fight in your first professional match but get the win as well?
MA: It was pretty cool. It didn’t feel any different than the previous fights. A fight is a fight. Getting punched in the face feels the same regardless if you’re a professional or an amateur.
KC: How were you able to balance life as a SEAL and your fighting career? Was fighting professionally always the goal or was it more of a hobby during your time with the SEALs?
MA: It was a hobby for a number of years. It didn’t cross my mind to make it a profession until two years ago. Once I started training with guys at the most elite level I saw that I could hand with them and it made me realize that I could fight at that level.
KC: Is fighting in the UFC the ultimate goal from here? Do you have a timetable for getting there?MA:
MA: I would like to fight within the UFC in the next year or so. It’s not the ultimate goal but one of my goals. I am also doing motivational speaking its new and I enjoy it. My clothing line, Smashin' Frog, is doing well, and I just started a supplement company called Smashin' Greens. Overall, I am just getting into entrepreneurship.
KC: What does Kill the Quit mean to you?
MA: Simply not quitting when you want to. Recently. I took on the Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim challenge in the Grand Canyon. It was a 52-mile hike and it took me 20 hours straight to finish. It was 20,000 feet of elevation. I had a speech in New York City the day before and flew in on two hours of sleep. It pushed me to the edge and I had to dig deep and kill the quit in me.