Welterweight Fernando Gonzalez was riding a five-fight winning steak heading into his last fight in November against Michael “Venom” Page. He was defeated by split decision, but doesn’t think the loss was a setback.
“I don’t think it set me back too much. I feel (Bellator) felt that I won the fight,” Gonzalez told MMAWeekly.com. “I feel that they felt that I won the fight. I felt that I won the fight, and so did the crowd in San Jose.”
On Friday, in Thackerville, Okla., Gonzalez looks to get back in the win column when he faces Brandon Girtz on the Bellator 174: Coenen vs. Budd main card at the WinStar World Casino.
“It gets me back in the win column,” he said. “Putting on a good performance gets me one step closer to title contention.
“A brawler. This guy’s a brawler. He comes out swinging. He comes out throwing. He comes out to knock you out. He’s a scrapper. I’m not underestimating him. I’ve been training my ass off,” Gonzalez said about his opponent.
Girtz is moving up to the welterweight division from the 155-pound weight class. Gonzalez should have the size advantage in the fight, but only thinks it will come into play if the fight hits the ground.
“I think so, but only when it hits the ground, if he tries to take me down, since he’s still a lighter guy. Obviously, once I put my fluids back in I’ll be at least 10 to 15 pounds heavier, which you definitely feel in the fights. I think when it hits the ground is where the weight is going to make the difference, but I don’t really see that happening too much. If it does got to the ground, it won’t be there for long,” he said.
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“I’ll be the one with the range. This will probably be the only time that I have reach on somebody. It’s not much, but it’s something. I’ll actually be the taller fighter in there,” added Gonzalez. “I think it’s going to end up staying on the feet and I’ll be able to catch him pretty early.”
Gonzalez believes that he’ll be able to exploit Girtz’ aggression in the fight. He predicts that the bout will remain standing and that he’ll catch Girtz making a mistake.
“I think we’re going to cancel each other out on the ground. I believe we’re going to end up keeping it standing and I think he’ll throw a big bomb and I’ll be able to catch him making a mistake.”
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