Lewis Gonzalez is in a familiar position, training with his teammates and preparing for an upcoming MMA fight. In his fifth year as a professional mixed martial artist and with a Welterweight bout against Bobby Nash at Global Knockout 7 on the horizon, it’s business as usual for the Turlock native who is in the midst of a career climb back to a national promotion.
Fighting with a regional promotion for the second time since losing his UFC debut against Leandro Silva at UFC Fight Night 70 in June 2015, Gonzalez (11-2) is aiming is to take out Nash, a former Division I collegiate wrestler, in entertaining fashion and once again draw the attention of UFC matchmaker Joe Silva.
“A win is huge. If I win, I’m a phone call away from someone getting injured or something happening where they need me to step up again,” Gonzalez said. “But if I lose, who knows. Maybe they’ll call the guy I lose to instead. So yeah, I need to keep winning these fights.”
In his way is Nash (7-1), a former Michigan State University Trojan who finished his college career with an overall record of 48-42 and is currently on a five-fight win streak.
“He’s a strong and lengthy guy, but I think he’s still learning on some stand up. He’s tough everywhere, but I think I have more experience,” Gonzalez said. “I mean he’s D1 and tough, but I think I’ve gone up against tougher wrestlers.”
Though Nash has won six of his fights via stoppage, Gonzalez is without a doubt his toughest opponent to date, making this fight equally important for his career as it is for Gonzalez’.
“He has some finishes, but he hasn’t beaten any real notable opponents,” Gonzalez said. “This will be a good win for me because he’s 7-1; he’s got a solid record. For him, I think they’re trying to see if he has the tools to go over or not.”
As was the case in his last fight against Ty Freeman, Gonzalez’ game plan is to execute on his feet and showcase his standup. Unable to finish Freeman due to a broken hand mid-fight, the “Lethal” Turlocker does not want a repeat win-via-decision performance if he can help it. Still, he’s ready to rely on his wrestling skills if need be.
“He might want to take it to the ground if I can get some hands on him,” Gonzalez said. “I feel like I can go wherever the fight goes.”
Gonzalez takes on Nash at the Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort on Aug. 27. Visit www.GlobalKnockout.com for ticket information.