Mike Gonzalez’s run at featherweight is off to a perfect start.
The 32-year-old is currently unbeaten since moving up from the bantamweight division in August 2019. After losing two-straight bouts in 2019, Gonzalez is back to a winning record at 3-2.
“From my last fight and the fight before, it’s exactly what I know myself to be capable of,” Gonzalez said. “It was readjusting my focus with that weight cut and just reminding myself of who I am.”
Trying something new
Mike Gonzalez improved from a two-fight skid to two-consecutive victories in a year.
He most recently dominated two of three four-minute rounds in a unanimous-decision victory against Andrew Salas at Ring of Combat 71 on Feb. 21. The Silver Fox BJJ black belt controlled the first two rounds, earning four of his five takedowns before the third.
Gonzalez’s improved striking showed throughout his last pair of bouts. Although his wrestling and jiu-jitsu played a major role against Salas, he threw a high volume of strikes, including 14 leg kicks.
He also earned a technical knockout in his featherweight debut on Aug. 16, 2019. He stopped Bobby Malcolm in the first round at Cage Fury Fighting Championships 77.
“I feel stronger, faster and I also get an additional week of training,” Gonzalez said. “Rather than spending the last week or two of my camp focusing on the weight cut, I now just get to focus solely on training from beginning to end.”
Making the switch
Gonzalez kicked off his professional career at bantamweight because of the success he earned at the amateur level. He mostly fought around 147 lbs. in his first four amateur bouts before winning and defending the Dead Serious MMA 140 lbs. title.
Gonzalez then decided to make his professional debut at 135 lbs. He never missed his bantamweight mark, but felt side effects from the cut on fight day.
“My first fight at 135 was easy, but through weight training and strength and conditioning, I naturally got bigger,” Gonzalez said. “The second fight was a little tougher and the third fight was tougher.”
The New York native anticipated a CFFC return in May, but those plans are changing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Building on his win streak will only get him to where he wants to go faster, fighting for a larger promotion.
Gonzalez’s featherweight run is reminding him what he’s capable of. Now, he is determined to show everyone else.
“This is just temporarily, fighting for the regional scene,” Gonzalez said. “I’m cementing myself as the best with each and every fight.”