Saturday night saw hundreds of local mixed martial arts fans fill the Modesto Centre Plaza at the Double Tree Hotel to watch the Cagebound Fighting Championship’s first ever Motown Throwdown. Turlock’s ‘Lethal’ Lewis Gonzalez was one half of the night’s main event, with fellow city native Ty Costa competing in the co-main event.
Gonzalez and Costa are both alumni of Turlock High School and had much success as part of the Bulldogs varsity wrestling team. Gonzalez is Turlock’s first and only back-to-back state champion and served as a wrestling coach for the Bulldogs after graduating. He had a one-fight stint in the UFC in 2015, while Costa had a similar tenure in Bellator in 2018.
At weigh-ins on Friday morning, Costa explained that he had watched film on his opponent, former Bellator fighter J.T. Donaldson, in the days leading up to their featherweight fight and expressed confidence in skillset.
“I’m going to come in with my hands high and tight, my chin low, move my head, move my feet, attack the body and open up shots to the head,” he said. “If he shoots, I’m going to guillotine choke him. If he gets both hands on the mat, I’ll get a crucifix. I feel like I’ve got pretty good weapons for wherever the fight goes.”
Unfortunately for Costa, the fight did not play out as he envisioned. Donaldson controlled the octagon for the majority of the fight, walking forward against Costa and pressing him against the cage in several grappling exchanges. Costa had most of his success in round two, landing multiple leg kicks and connecting with several jabs. After 15 minutes, the fight went to the judges with the scorecards ruling a unanimous decision in favor of Donaldson. One of the three judges had Costa winning the second round.
Costa’s professional record now stands at 4-5. He later reflected on the night in an Instagram post.
“Lost a tough decision in front of the home crowd over the weekend. Taking that ‘L’ was truly excruciating, but at the same time I thought I did a lot of things well and was honored to go to war in front of all my people,” he said. “I live to compete and had a lot of fun out there. I can’t wait to heal up and start to build on this experience and dance under the lights again.”
While Costa had time to do some research on his opponent, the same could not be said for Gonzalez. Gonzalez had his opponent changed two times, finally coming to terms with veteran fighter Quinton McCottrell.
“He’s decent everywhere, good ground game, but it’s a fight so I can’t look past anybody,” Gonzalez said. “He’s obviously a confident guy to come down here on short notice, but it’s all respect. On Saturday night, it’s either going to be me or him [losing], and I’ll do everything it takes to be sure it’s him.”
Gonzalez also came into Saturday’s welterweight title fight as motivated as ever after losing his last two fights. He felt as if his last fight in February 2021 against current PFL contender Dilano Taylor was a controversial decision as Taylor was in his hometown of Miami.
Once the bell rung on Saturday night, Gonzalez made sure that scorecards would not be needed. After a minute in, Gonzalez took McCottrell to the ground with ease. He proceeded to wrestle with McCottrell, landing several punches in the process. Before long, Gonzalez took top position and successfully submitted McCottrell with a d’arce choke at 3 minutes and 50 seconds of the round. The first-round finish improved Gonzalez’s professional record to 12-4.
Representatives from the Cagebound Fighting Championship promotion then presented Gonzalez with the welterweight belt, wrapping it around his waist. Gonzalez thanked his family and friends who came out to Modesto to watch him compete.