For Gonzalez, it’s a combination of both frustration and happiness that he’s finally going to get to face Page in Bellator.
“To be honest, the only thing that I don’t like about it – I don’t mind who the opponent is – but is that they stalled me out from the last scheduled event,” Gonzalez told MMAWeekly.com. “I kind of wanted to take another fight in between.
“I don’t like long layoffs, but this is the fight they wanted to make. I’m all for it. I’m glad it’s finally here. And now I get to prove to everybody what I’m saying: I’m just an all-around better fighter than he is. I’m ready to get out there and finish him.”
Gonzalez himself is coming off a split-decision win over Gilbert Smith in March at Bellator 151. It’s a bout that Gonzalez feels further vindicates his stance that he’s a complete fighter.
“It allowed me to show my ground skills,” said Gonzalez. “That’s what Gilbert does: he’s a great wrestler and a great ground guy. He was coming in there RFA champion, so he was a tough test. I went out there and proved again that I’m skilled on the ground as well as on my feet.”
When Gonzalez (25-13) finally faces Page (11-0) in the 170-pound co-main event at Bellator 165 on Saturday in San Jose, Calif., he feels everyone’s underestimation of him could end up being the thing that helps him pick up the victory.
“Everybody is on the hype train of MVP because it’s kind of new territory for everybody seeing him fight the way he does,” Gonzalez said. “The style he attacks with – it’s new to everybody else – but honestly, to me, it’s a rerun. I’ve seen it before and I’ve trained against it before.
“I’ve already dealt with his attacks in the past, and I plan on exploiting that as well. His speed is a big factor, but I’m a lot faster than a lot of the fighters that he’s faced, and a lot more technical. I know at some point that I’ll catch him and finish him.”
Having picked up five straight MMA wins in a row, Gonzalez feels that 2017 is his year to go for the welterweight title.
“I think anybody that’s fighting; they want to get the recognition that they’re one of the best fighters in the world, and the only way to do that right now is having that strap,” said Gonzalez. “I definitely I want to get the belt.
“I struggled a lot to get here, so I think I’m due for the big paydays, and if I have the title I can start fighting the top guys in the world right now. I just want to compete against the best in the world, and say that I competed and was able to beat them, and be solidified as one of the best myself.”