The talent pool in the UFC's strawweight division continues to grow rapidly, and this weekend, we will see the yet another 115-pound contender make their debut—Pearl Gonzalez.
Gonzalez will take on another relative newcomer, Cynthia Calvillo, on the main card of this weekend’s UFC 210 pay-per-view. Many have tipped both these ladies to make big waves in the UFC, but if you are wanting to get the lowdown on Gonzalez before she enters the Octagon on Saturday night, here’s everything you need to know:
- Name: Pearl Gonzalez
- Nationality: United States
- MMA Record: 6-1-0 (Win-Loss-Draw)
- Age: 30 | Date of Birth: 1986.08.12
- Weight Class: Strawweight
- Affiliation: San Diego Combat Academy / 10th Planet San Diego
- Height: 5'4" (163cm)
A Fan Of Calvillo
Speaking recently to ByTheMinuteMMA, Gonzalez talked about her upcoming fight with Calvillo and admitted she was a big fan of hers. Having seen another debutant pick up an impressive win on a big stage at UFC 209, Gonzalez said she’s going to try to emulate her performance on Saturday and lay down a big marker herself.
“Absolutely, I’m such a big fan,” Gonzalez said. “I watched UFC 209 and she did such a great job. She came in and looked so comfortable and she had a great time in that fight. I admire that about her and she looked very tough. She’s a good grappler and she was very strong mentally in there. I’m very excited for this fight and this is the perfect opportunity for me to just show the world how tough I am.”
Fought At Three Different Weight Classes
Strawweight might be the weight class that Gonzalez enters the organization competing, but if her record is anything to go by, she’s not afraid to mix it with the woman in the heavier divisions. The Chicago-native has fought three of her seven bouts at flyweight and debuted in a 130-pound catchweight contest in Ring of Combat. Don’t rule out a move up to 125 pounds if the division ever comes to fruition.
A Win Over A UFC Strawweight Already
Gonzalez might be a UFC newcomer, but that doesn’t mean she’s not faced some of the best in the division already. Back in October 2013, Gonzalez faced Cortney Casey under the XFC banner for their vacant flyweight title. The bout was just Gonzalez’s third of her career, but she pulled out a slick armlock submission in the final few seconds of the third round to take home the title.
Chicago By Way Of San Diego
Gonzalez is a proud Chicago native, but is currently based out of San Diego after her husband was based there on active duty for the US Navy. Having trained at Combat-Do for over ten years in her home state, Gonzalez now trains at San Diego Combat Academy and 10th Planet San Diego with the likes of Bellator’s Ilima-Lei Macfarlane.
Strong On The Deck
With three of her six wins by submission, Gonzalez is someone to be taken very seriously when the fight hits the mat. The UFC newcomer trains with some elite BJJ specialists, including four-time No-Gi PanAm Champion, Taylor Biagi, and 10th Planet jiu-jitsu black belt, Richie Martinez. Gonzalez openly admits that when the fight hits the ground, that’s where she feels most at home.
Guarantees Victory At UFC 210
UFC debuts aren’t usually made on the main card of UFC pay-per-views, but the size of the occasion doesn’t seem to be overwhelming Gonzalez. The Chicago native respects her opponent’s skillset, but says whether the fight plays out on the feet or on the ground that she’s going to be the one picking up the win.
“I’m so prepared for anywhere the fight goes,” Gonzalez told ByTheMinuteMMA. “I’m so excited to jump in and show my skills. I don’t know whether I’m going to win the first round or the third round, but one thing I’m sure of is that it’s going to be me getting my hand raised.”
Pearl Gonzalez Pro-MMA Record (6-1):
- W – Katie Casimir, R2 submission (rear-naked choke) – HFC 28
- W – Valeria Mejia, R1 KO/TKO (punches) – XFO 56
- W – Nikki Duncan, Unanimous Decision – XFO 55
- W – Cortney Casey, R3 submission (armlock) – XFC 26
- W – Suzie Montero, R! submission (armlock) – XFC 22
- L – Munah Holland, Majority Decision – Ring of Combat 39