When it comes to the first half of his 2022, lightweight Chris Gonzalez couldn’t be much happier with how things have been going.
Rebounding off his first career loss last year, Gonzalez started his year off with a bang, quite literally, with a big head kick victory over Saad Awad at Bellator 273 in January.
“So far so good; I got one fight under my belt, it was a great one, and I couldn’t have really asked for a better result in that fight,” Gonzalez told MMAWeekly.com.
“Unfortunately I did break my hand in that fight, so that would have been the only thing I would have hoped turned out differently. But outside of that, everything’s been great.”
Over the course of his first eight fights, Gonzalez feels like he’s shown improvement every time he’s gone out to the cage, and doesn’t see that changing anytime soon.
“Every year for me has been consistently growing,” said Gonzalez. “I think as a mixed martial artist the moment you stop learning and growing is when you’re going to peak and plateau, so I always try to keep that white belt mentality.
“From my first fight to my last fight and every one in between, you’ll see the level of growth and comfort I’ve developed inside the cage.”
This Friday in Tacoma, Washington, Gonzalez (7-1) will look to pick up his second win in a row when he faces Usman Nurmagomedov (14-0) in a main card 155-pound bout at Bellator 283.
“I’ve lobbied for this fight for quite some time, so they finally offered it,” Gonzalez said. “I think it’s a big opportunity to showcase my skillset and set myself up for my ultimate goal which is Bellator gold.”
Gonzalez would like to see himself move up in the standings and potentially work his way into title contention this year, but rather than put his energy into thinking about that, he’s going to continue to focus on his fights and go from there.
“I know I’m on the right track,” said Gonzalez. “I can only control what I can control, so I’m going to focus on what I’ve got to do to get there. Whether it’s on my timeline or Bellator’s, I’m going to keep doing what I do and win fights.
“Whether it’s after this fight or the one after that or further down the line it’s really not my call, so I’m going to handle my business and make sure I’m ready for it when the opportunity calls.”