With his victory over Ty-Wan Claxton at Bellator 260 this past June, featherweight Justin Gonzales remained undefeated in his career and took another step up the 145-pound ladder, but that doesn’t mean he’s totally satisfied with the fight.
Having come off a finish in his previous bout, having to go to a split-decision to defeat Claxton was admittedly not to Gonzales’ standards.
“It was a little bit closer than I liked, and obviously I would have liked to get a stoppage, but Ty-Wan is tough,” Gonzales told MMAWeekly.com. “It was a close fight; very similar stylistically.
“I don’t think it was my best performance, but we had to change some things in our camp, and we’ve got things figured out, so I’m ready to show the world I can do better.”
While Gonzales isn’t happy the fight had to go to a decision, he does see how the judges could view the fight as closely as they did.
“I think I won the striking in the first,” said Gonzales. “I controlled the cage. I controlled the whole pace the first round. I think I won the first. I think I was winning the striking exchange and then off of a kick I got taken down, so I think he might have stole that round. It was a very close second.
“Then the third was a close round, but I think I was won the striking battle and the positioning battle, (we exchanged takedowns), and I think the judges did right by seeing it my way and giving me the W.”
Looking to remain undefeated, Gonzales (12-0) squares off with Aaron Pico (8-3) in a main card 145-pound bout at Bellator 271 this Friday in Hollywood, Florida.
“This time I didn’t have a year layoff between (fights), which is nice,” Gonzales said. “I feel like I’ve grown as a fighter. I feel like that’s my goal is to grow as a fighter. If you’re not growing you’re getting passed. I feel dangerous.
“I feel dangerous everywhere; whether it’s on the feet or on the ground, I think I can catch this guy anywhere. I’m really excited to showcase what I’ve got.”
Though Gonzales is looking at things one fight at a time, he does feel like a win over Pico could be a building block for the upcoming year.
“It’s one fight at a time and see where my career goes, because I starch this guy, this could change a lot of things in my career,” said Gonzales. “There’s too many variables to take into consideration to be jumping too far ahead.
“I still have a job to do. I still have one thing on my mind that I need to take care of before we start jumping ahead. After that we start looking to the next one.”