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.