The saying “look on the bright side” is cliché, unless you truly embody it.

Given the situation that top-ranked women’s strawweight Jessica Aguilar has found herself in over the course of the last year—fighting just twice in 2012— it would have been easy for the 30-year-old fighter to abandon her positive outlook and resort to negativity.

Yet, as she prepares to enter the cage for the first time in 10 months at Bellator 94 on March 28, the American Top Team product is hopeful that things are about to turn around.

“I just want to stay busy,” Aguilar told The MMA Corner in an exclusive interview. “I wish it was different, but I’m just glad I have a fight.”

After winning nine of her last 10 fights, including dethroning consensus No. 1-ranked Megumi Fujii last May, Aguilar has the skills to be a true star in the sport. But with her sixth Bellator appearance on the horizon—a second meeting with Patricia Vidonic—the Mexican-born American finds herself relegated to the preliminary card.

“It doesn’t bother me,” the easygoing Aguilar quipped. “I don’t know how Bellator made their decision about who’s going to be on the main card, but I have another year with them and they’ve always been good to me.

“They’re trying to keep me busy, but unfortunately it just hasn’t worked out. They’ve been going through changes, and I’m not the only fighter that they have on the roster. I don’t know what they’re focusing on now, but I hope after this fight that I’ll be busier.”

Part of the reason for Aguilar’s absence from the cage has been finding an opponent. Her five straight wins and seven career submission victories played a big part in the pairing with a familiar foe in Vidonic.

“I appreciate her taking the fight,” said Aguilar of her fellow combatant. “I think she’s more comfortable now and she’ll bring new things to this fight. That will be exciting, and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Following the departure of inaugural 115-pound champion Zoila Gurgel, who, coincidentally is the last women to defeat Aguilar, in a contentious split decision at Bellator 31, the promotion’s vision for women’s MMA has been anything but clear.

“I’m not sure what their plans are,” admitted Aguilar. “I haven’t heard anything about another tournament. There was talk of one last year, but nothing so far this year.”

With the uncertainty surrounding Bellator’s plans, much of the women’s MMA community has been focused on Invicta Fighting Championships. Even “Jag” won’t rule out an appearance with the young promotion in the future.

“Hopefully someday I can be a part of that,” revealed Aguilar. “It’s a great organization. I’m glad that [Invicta President] Shannon [Knapp] and [matchmaker] Janet [Martin] are doing great things and allowing all those females to showcase their great skills inside the cage.”

Having already fought outside the Bellator cage twice during her current contract—including a unanimous decision win over Vidonic last February—it may not be out of the question for Aguilar to find herself in the Invicta cage sooner rather than later.

“I don’t think it’s off-limits,” Aguilar said. “I just haven’t been offered anything else. If there was an opportunity, I don’t think they’d have a problem allowing me to fight for Invicta.”

Aguilar’s resume already contains wins over the aforementioned Fujii and current Invicta champion Carla Esparza. However, her positive outlook on things won’t let her stop there.

“I’m not finished yet,” she emphasized. “Last year, I won the biggest fight of my career. I think I have a few more years left. There’s still a lot of good girls out there that I haven’t fought.

“I still have a lot left.”

Of course, Aguilar’s declaration is contingent on her finding fights. But one thing’s for certain: she’ll take it all in stride with a smile on her face.

Aguilar would like to thank American Top Team, Paradigm Sports Management, and her sponsors: Sweetheart & Heros, Garden of Life, Jawzz, Everlast, Throat Punch, Donkeeboy, Boca Tanning Club, Mma2themax, Pro Fight, Onnit, Big Boys Moving, Jugular Energy Drink, Perfecting Athletes. For more on Aguilar follow her Twitter: @jagatt, Instagram: jagatt, Facebook: Jessica “Jag” Aguilar, and visit her website:

Top Photo: Jessica Aguilar (R) throws a right hand (Keith Mills/Sherdog)