Lewis Gonzalez came close on the scorecards in his UFC debut against Leandro Silva on Saturday, but 10 days notice proved to be too short a time frame to keep Silva from winning via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) at UFC Fight Night 70.
Despite an aggressive first round that saw Gonzalez (10-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) score two takedowns, cardio became an issue for the Turlocker midway through the second round and Silva (18-2-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) took rounds two and three with a several takedowns and submission attempts.
“He was tough, obviously. But I feel like with a full camp I can beat that guy,” Gonzalez said.“That was an eye opener for me. When it comes down to it, I feel like my cardio was the issue with me losing the fight. But that comes with taking the fight on such short notice.”
Silva attempted twice as many takedowns as Gonzalez and successfully took him down on several occasions, though he was unable to maintain control on the ground as Gonzalez countered and reversed each time. Silva did control the stand up game, however, with an array strike that opened up a cut above Gonzalez' right eye in the third round.
“I was giving up positions that I normally wouldn't just so I could relax and get a couple deep breaths. To build up and go hard for another 30 seconds, when I'm usually able to go five minutes without giving up position,” Gonzalez said. "Usually when I get on top, that's when I grind people out and wear them down. You lose form and pressure when you get tired. That's what I was lacking, especially when I was on top.
“I'm competitive, so even though I know I still performed and did well, I don't like to lose,” he added.
Gonzalez is now focused on his next fight, though he is unsure who it will be against and whether or not it will be in the UFC. He and his team at MMA Gold expect at least one more fight with the promotion though, in what Gonzalez described as the ideal opportunity — to show UFC brass what he can do with a full training camp.
“We're pretty confident that we're going to get at least one more fight since we took this one on such short notice. Even though I didn't get the W, I still feel like I put on a show and performed,” Gonzalez said. “I just have to go in there and take care of business next fight.”