Pearl Gonzalez is determined to become a world champion.
This Saturday, Gonzalez takes on promotional newcomer Daiane Firmino in the co-main event of Invicta FC 31– a bout that will determine the next flyweight title challenger.
Not only will Pearl be fighting to earn a title shot, but she’ll be fighting to honor her late father, who passed just a few weeks after her last fight.“I lost my dad a couple of weeks after my last fight,” Gonzalez shared with Bloody Elbow. “And my father is the one who put me into MMA as a kid and so I think the hardest challenge of my life has been living on without him.”
“I live to honor him through my sport and I promised him on his last breath that I would use the pain to become a world champion. I’m just a different person now. I changed the day my father left me,” she said. “I am going to honor him and as a result, I am going to be more focused, more composed, and more relentless than I have ever been in my career. I look forward to showing that I’m deadly in every area of this fight.”
I look forward to showing that I’m deadly in every area of this fight.
After parting ways with the UFC in late 2017 following a two-fight skid, Gonzalez rediscovered her passion for fighting when she signed with Invicta FC.
Gonzalez made successful Invicta strawweight debut with a win over Kali Robbins in March and followed that up with a statement victory at flyweight over Barbara Acioly in May.
Now, staying at 125 pounds, Gonzalez will look to go 3-0 in the promotion.
“Fighting at 125 felt really food for me. I had been so used to cutting weight, and getting smaller and being small, that it was kind of a challenge to eat to be stronger and eat to be healthy,” said Gonzalez, who endured brutal weight cuts to make the strawweight limit.
In regards to her May fight versus Barbara Acioly, a fight that Pearl finished with an armbar in the first round, she says, “I felt faster and more elusive than I typically do. Overall, I think that’s a completely different mindset for me fighting at 125– where I am training to be strong and more athletic, not cut myself down.”
Across the cage from Gonzalez will stand Brazil’s Daiane Firmino (10-2), a well-rounded fighter who has a TKO victory over Ariane Lipski (in 2014) on her resume.
Pearl recognizes this as her “toughest opponent” to date but she’s not intimidated in the slightest. “I look at her as my toughest opponent yet. She’s got a great record. She’s got a lot of experience…She’s a bigger girl…She looks strong, so I am prepared for a stronger girl. She likes pressure, but I’m ready.”
I don’t care about the opponent. They’re just a stepping stone for me to my ultimate goal.
“I’m at a place in my career, and in my life, where I’ just so mentally and physically focused on this. This is my life. this is number one. I live and breathe this career. These are my last few years of competing and I’m really giving my all. So I don’t care about the opponent. They’re just a stepping stone for me to my ultimate goal.”
You won’t want to miss Invicta FC 31’s co-main attraction.
Invicta FC 31 begins at 8 PM EST, LIVE on UFC Fight Pass.
Source: Tim Bissel, Bloody Elbow (click here)