Erick Gonzalez has paid his dues in MMA and believes he’s ready to take the next step in his career.
Fresh off of a 14th career victory in early August, the Redondo Beach resident has already begun shifting his focus to what’s next. Looking to further ignite interest by taking out some fellow top prospects, a potential battle with Diego Lopes came to mind.
Unfortunately for Gonzalez, Lopes very quickly became unavailable as he was slotted into Dana White’s Contender Series.
“I was actually talking to one of my sources and they were telling me about how he called out Trevin ‘5-Star’ [Jones] and he’s a 135er,” Gonzalez told MyMMANews. “So he called out a guy that was a weight class below him and [Diego’s] a weight class below me and is also coming out of my management team. So I was like, ‘Ah, f*ck it.’ Might as well spark it a little bit, you know? Unfortunately, he didn’t want to take the fight at 155. As soon as I knew that I knew this wasn’t gonna work.
“I just honestly want to get a fight, man. Maybe even take a short-notice fight. I’ll take one even at 170 if I have to. But from what I’m hearing and everything going on, the momentum is kind of going my way. I might have to secure another win but who knows. I’m definitely going to be keeping my name thrown out there.”
The 155-pound lightweight prospect had the opportunity to compete on an upcoming early September date for a regional crown. If it weren’t for a wedding he was set to attend, it would have been back in business despite still allowing his arm to heal after getting caught in an armbar his last time out.
Ultimately, Gonzalez took home two wins on that night as an in-cage proposal led to him now preparing to be a married man himself.
“F*cking nerve-racking, man,” Gonzalez said of the proposal. “It took me half a round just to wake up and feel like my normal self because it was a lot of nerves. I was like, ‘Oh, I gotta win this fight.’ If I don’t win this fight, I told myself I’m not gonna ask her if I don’t win the fight. Cause then it’s just a buzzkill for the other guy, it’s not my floor anymore. But everything went my way, almost broke my arm in the process, he almost took my arm with him (laughs).”
Now 14-5 overall as a pro, Gonzalez has a lot more experience than top promotions typically require these days. To believe it’s just a matter of time is justifiable — especially considering his run in Combate Americas.
Fighting in one-night tournaments to being exposed to different global audiences has helped the 29-year old not only in the fight experience department, but in the comfort realm regarding higher pressure situations and settings. The bigger the crowd, the more fuel to the fire.
At this point, he’ll do whatever it takes to reach a big stage — whether that’s taking another fight on the regional scene or even his own Contender Series bout.
“I think I’ll be one of the more underrated fighters going into the UFC but I’ll be shocking a lot of people without a doubt,” Gonzalez said. “I’m definitely open to the idea of something else. Any sort of promotion like [Bellator or PFL] is definitely going to be worth it, in my opinion. You’re only going to get your name out there to different viewers and types of people then you can always hop back into UFC if you’re doing good off another organization.
“I think I’d be open more to PFL, man. I think it’s a pretty good organization, I like the way they do their statistics on the bottom during the fight, the miles per hour — I think those little kinds of things are dope. Then you can’t lie to the fans about who got the most hits, if it goes to the judges you see it says all that right there. It’s all accounted for.”
Drake is an MMA writer based out of Brush Prairie, Washington, USA who specializes in feature pieces, the women’s fight scene, lists, news coverage, and rankings. He has been a passionate fan of MMA ever since 2009. Drake has most notably written for BJPenn.com, FanSided, The Body Lock, South China Morning Post, MyMMANews, WhatCulture, Cageside Press, Sherdog, The Scrap, and MMA Today. He has also written for and created video content for RT Sport. As for other sports, Drake is a longtime fan of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers and Jacksonville Jaguars.
You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @DrakeRiggs_ . Also check out all of his video content on YouTube at YouTube.com/DrakeRiggs where he uploads fighter interviews, podshows, and various other types of content.