Lewis Gonzalez has caught his first big break. After compiling an undefeated MMA record of 8-0 in less than two years, the 'Lethal' Turlock native has moved from regional fighter to the big leagues with the recent signing of a six-fight contract with the upstart World Series of Fighting.
After defeating Emmanuel Sanchez last month, Gonzalez was approached by a number of fighting leagues including Bellator and the Resurrection Fighting Alliance. For the first time in his professional career Gonzalez had several paths to choose from on his journey to the national stage, and the WSOF proved to be the perfect fit.
“It was kind of cool because we got to sit back and wait on what they were offering,” Gonzalez said. “We went with the route that was most secure and in the end it was World Series of Fighting.”
Mere weeks after letting the ink dry on his first major contract, Gonzalez’ first fight with his new league was announced. In a little over a month, on Aug. 10, Gonzalez will face fellow Lightweight Antonio “Mandingo” McKee (28-5-2) in Ontario, Calif.
McKee will be the most experienced fighter to face off against Gonzalez yet, something the former Bulldog wrestler will have to get accustomed to on the bigger stage. In addition to the increased level of competition, Gonzalez can expect a substantial pay bump and will be able to direct all his focus on the fight instead of having to sell tickets for a paycheck. Gonzalez also has the opportunity to spread his name across the country and even the world if his success continues as the main cards of the WSOF will be televised on NBC Sports.
“Knowing that I’m secure and locked down, just as long as I perform, is a good feeling,” Gonzalez said. “Being on the big stage, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now. I’m not going to be just known in the region, I’m going to be known nationwide.”
It didn’t take long for Gonzalez to move up the MMA ladder, but he hasn’t reached his plateau yet. There are still more fights to be won, more blood and sweat to be shed, and more doors to be opened on the way to the apex of the MMA world—the UFC.
“I have buddies who got into the UFC within a year of being pro, but most people have been fighting pro for four or five years and they’re still fighting regionally,” Gonzalez said. “It’s a big accomplishment; I’m excited to see what the future holds.”