by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
When the MMA community looks back over 2007, it could very well be viewed as “The Year of the Upset.” Seemingly everywhere you look, on one show or another, something happens that wasn’t anticipated in the least.
Even though the majority of press for these upsets come off of major shows, the phenomenon isn’t reserved for them only. Numerous smaller shows are also proving no refuge for more well-known fighters when it comes to upsets.
Such is the case of this past weekend’s XFS show in Boise, Idaho, where BodogFight contract fighter Kyacey Uscola was defeated in front of his hometown crowd by Colorado’s Chilo Gonzalez.
If Chilo’s name sounds familiar, it’s probably because he’s fought just about everywhere he possibly can on the West Coast and has faced some well-known competition.
From Josh Burkman to Joe Riggs to Carlos Condit, Gonzalez has never been one to back down from a challenge to anyone, and up until recently, his willingness to take fights on short notice against more name opposition has cost him.
After a stretch of losing five in a row, Chilo has rebounded; winning six of his last seven fights [with one no contest], including this past weekend’s come-from-behind victory over Uscola in Boise.
“It was a hard fight,” exclaimed Gonzalez. “I was getting beat up the whole first round. People tell me it was really back and forth, but I felt like I was losing the first. I was cut bad and I didn’t want the ref to stop it over the cut, so I figured I better step it up and not let him hit me any more.”
“I took him down [at the start of the second round], and I really didn’t feel I was going to be able to pull off any submissions because I was so bloody that I couldn’t hold onto anything. I wanted to mount him and try to pound him out, but he had my leg held tight with his half guard, so I just transitioned right around and took the knee bar. I felt it pop, heard him scream, and knew the fight was over,” added Chilo.
When it comes to going into someone else’s hometown for a fight, Gonzalez admits some trepidation, but in the end he didn’t let the crowd’s bias get to him.
“Being his hometown and being booed was something I didn’t like,” said Chilo. “So, it was a little extra motivation, but it didn’t really mess with me to much. Kyacey, I respect him, and I was a little bit nervous when they told me I would be fighting him.”
Gonzalez continued, “I knew it was an opportunity for me. I knew I could beat him, and I didn’t care where. Here, in Japan, Idaho, I don’t care where it’s at; I’m going to beat the dude any day of the week. And just because they were booing me, it wasn’t going to change anything.”
Now that Chilo has added a well-known fighter to his string of recent victories, his attention turns towards the future, and more specifically a one-time UFC championship contender.
“I’m taking it all the way, I’m riding it until the wheels fall off,” exclaimed Gonzalez of his career. “I’m going straight through anybody they put in there. I’m fighting David Loiseau in July, and whoever in the ring after that is next. I don’t care who it is, I’m training hard for anybody.”
“Loiseau is another dangerous guy. He’s got nasty elbows and can end the fight at any time, but I’m training hard and I’m going to be in there 100% now. I can’t take it easy now just because I beat up one tough guy, [because] there’s a bunch more,” further stated Chilo.
For Gonzalez the last couple years represent a much needed revamping to his one-time faltering career. Taking the sport more seriously in business and training aspects have helped him get back on track to becoming a nationwide talent, rather than just a local one.
“I don’t take last-minute fights anymore, and I think you’ll notice a difference on my record,” explained Chilo. “Every fight I’m prepared for, I’ve won. That’s two years worth of victories and I think I’m doing something right by listening to my trainers and my manager.”
Gonzalez added, “I don’t have anything to prove anymore. I guess I’ve proven it just by doing what they say. If I’m not tough enough because I won’t take a fight on a day’s notice [anymore], then I guess I’m just not that tough.”
So with a six-fight winning streak in tow, and an opportunity to face a big name fighter on the horizon, things are looking up for Colorado’s Chilo Gonzalez. As he puts it himself, he’s a fighter to watch any time you see his name on the card.
“Definitely anybody that has a chance to check me out, I’ll come into your top five [favorite fighters] real quick. I’ve never been to a decision in my life, so no matter what, I’m fighting to end the fight,” closed out Chilo. “I definitely want to thank Drew Lawrence and Keith Wilson at the Tool Shed; my manager George Ransom; Donnie Liles, Eric, Vellore, everybody down at the Tool Shed – I love them all and I’m glad they help me out.”