Following a successful 2020 that saw him win both of his fights, lightweight Chris Gonzalez kicked off his 2021 in even bigger fashion by picking up the biggest victory of his career, defeating veteran Roger Huerta this past April via third round submission.
For Gonzalez the win over Huerta was something he’d been wanting for a long time, and more so importantly kept his undefeated streak going to start off his fourth year as a pro fighter.
“He was somebody that I had been throwing out (as a suggestion) for a year honestly,” Gonzalez told MMAWeekly.com. “Going into that last fight they offered me like three different opponents and I said yes to all three, but for some reason all three turned them down. They came back with Roger, so I was super happy to have that opportunity.
“Roger is a veteran and has done a lot of good things in the sport. I had a really good performance. There are some things I could have done better, but we got the finish and got the job done, and that’s most important. It was a good fight.”
For Gonzalez having people unwilling to compete against him is nothing new. It has been something going on since day one of his fight career.
“When I switched to MMA from wrestling it was the same issue I was having,” said Gonzalez. “I was trying to get fights in smaller promotions which ultimately led me to a major organization like Bellator where I thought people would be a little more willing to step up and showcase their skills on the big stage.
“To still have this problem at this level is a compliment for sure. If I looked at it I wouldn’t want to fight me if I’m being honest.”
This Saturday in Los Angeles, California, Gonzalez (6-0) puts his undefeated streak on the line when he takes on Goiti Yamauchi (25-5) in a main card 160-pound bout at Bellator 263.
“Goiti is a really tough competitor,” Gonzalez said. “He’s been a Top 5 fighter in my eyes for the last five-plus years. He’s been fighting all the top competition, so it’s a great opportunity for me to show my worth and show that I’m a contender, and I’m here to stay, and I’m a legitimate threat for the title. I’m coming for it.”
Should he get past Yamauchi, Gonzalez has a clear idea of what challenge he wants to undertake next – title challenging.
“Pitbull (Friere’s) been out there fighting pretty often, so he’s not stalling by any means, but once he defends his featherweight title he’s got a choice to make, whether to defend or vacate (the lightweight title),” said Gonzalez. “With a win over Goiti I put my name in the hat for a title shot.”