Having picked up four wins in a row, lightweight Erick Gonzalez was feeling optimistic heading into his February 16 bout against Danny Ramirez at Combate Americas 11, but he ended up being disappointed.
While Gonzalez believes the judges’ decision was not warranted, he does feel he made mistakes against Ramirez that may have contributed to the loss.
“I was over-throwing a lot of power punches and headhunting a lot,” Gonzalez told MMAWeekly.com. “It can be a problem when you’re headhunting too much. You’re over-throwing punches and exerting a lot of energy that can be wasted from them slipping it and parrying it.”
Since the loss to Ramirez, Gonzalez has been working hard to change his striking philosophy so not to get caught in the same habits he had previously.
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“I’m focusing on doing quicker punches and not just strong punches in setting up a big shot – whether it’s a head shot or body shot,” said Gonzalez. “That way I can engage to the body while keeping them busy upstairs, and be able to drop my level, and work the hard punches in last, rather than just heavy hits all the time.”
Gonzalez (6-1) will look to put his new philosophy to the test when he returns to Combate Americas on Thursday in Tijuana, Mexico, to take on Marco Antonio Elpidio (7-1) in a main card 155-pound bout.
“I have a very long range, so that’s why I’m trying to master the art of keeping my distance and engaging with my striking,” Gonzalez said. “I know (Elpidio) likes to strike, but he only comes in with a hard overhand right – kind of like a rainbow – so keeping my distance will help a lot.
“Working my inside leg kicks and body kicks, setting up my body shots against the cage. I have to make sure I’m changing my angles a lot more and keeping him guessing the entire fight.”
Going forward, Gonzalez has his eyes on claiming Combate Americas gold not only at 155-pounds, but adding a second title to go with it in the future.
“The goal is to get my title for the lightweight division, and then I eventually want to make my way down to 145-pounds and take that weight class as well,” said Gonzalez. “
“This last one (against Ramirez) was a drawback, but not much of a drawback, because I didn’t lose as much as I thought I was. I still got Fight of the Night. I still made a lot of new fans.”