Q & A with ROC 58 winner James Gonzalez

James Gonzalez steps on the scale at ROC 58 weigh-ins on Thursday Feb. 23, 2017. Photo Credit: Ring of Combat.


James Gonzalez (3-1 MMA, 3-1 ROC) submitted Tevin Cooke (3-1 MMA, 1-1 ROC) by a second-round triangle choke at Ring of Combat 58 inside the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. The 26-year-old is riding a three-fight win streak and spoke to NJ MMA News about his recent bout and his plans for the Ring of Combat featherweight division.


Q: Coming into the bout undefeated, Cooke was a fighter on the rise. Did you feel like you were considered the underdog in this fight?

Gonzalez: Tevin is a tough kid. I’m sure he’ll bounce back from his loss just like I and many other fighters have. I always consider myself the underdog against anybody, even if I have an advantage. That mindset motivates me and reminds me never to under estimate anyone.


Q: What surprised you most about this fight?

Gonzalez: His striking speed in the first round caught me off guard. Usually after the feeling out process is done, I can handle most of whatever is thrown at me.


Q: You fought all four of your professional fights with ROC and it doesn’t seem like you are planning to go elsewhere?

Gonzalez: No, at the moment I’m extremely happy with the ROC promotion. They look after and accommodate their fighters well.


Q: What is your goal for your time with ROC?

Gonzalez: The goal would be to win the 145 lbs. title and transition to the UFC.


Q: You lost to Mike Trizano in your pro debut. He is another up and comer, is that fight you would like back?

Gonzalez: Who ever I’m asked to fight, I’ll fight. You learn from your losses. I took that fight on two days notice. I’m not hung up on it. I wouldn’t change it considering what I’ve done with my career since then.


Q: After this bout, are you looking for opponents with more experience?

Gonzalez: Like I said, I don’t mind who they put me with, even if I’m on the wrong end of a decision or any other way to lose. Anytime in the cage is experience and it’s a very valuable thing to have.

Writing for NJ MMA New since 2011, Connor is passionate about covering local mixed martial arts. He graduated from Temple University’s School of Media and Communications with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. His love for MMA stems from his past as a high school wrestler and jiu-jitsu blue belt. Former UFC fighter Kurt Pellegrino coached Connor in his senior year of high school. He worked as a Rally Sports Desk report for The Philadelphia Inquirer and interned as a sports reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News.