LAS VEGAS — Pahrump’s amateur mixed martial arts fighter Andrew Gonzalez suffered a second round submission to Jose Arroyo Rosas (2-0) from Fresno, California on Saturday in Las Vegas.
This was Gonzalez’s second loss in two matches in Tuff-N-Uff competition.
Fight fans came out in droves to see the free 14-card event at the Thomas and Mack which honored the founder of Tuff-N-Uff, Barry Meyer, who committed suicide in 2013.
Gonzalez at 135 pounds was the first fight on the card. His plan was to come out kicking and punching, but Rosas had other plans. In the first round, Rosas quickly took Gonzalez to the ground and Gonzalez was forced to fight a defensive battle on his back. While on his back in the first, he made desperate attempts to strike at Rosas.
“I got some strikes in,” he said. “I don’t feel the fight was one-sided. He was bringing it and was getting it too.”
Gonzalez has two coaches in Pahrump: Master Karate instructor Jose Hernandez of Dragon Cloud Dojo, and jiu jitsu and Muay Thai instructor Robert Wilson of Mix It up Academy. Hernandez handles the stand-up fighting and Wilson is the grappling coach.
Wilson is also coaching Pahrump’s other MMA fighter Brandon Schneider.
Wilson said after the fight that those punches in the first round were useless and he told his fighter this going into the second.
“I told him not to strike him while on his back,” Wilson said. “You can’t win by throwing punches from the bottom. Two things happen when you do that, you get knocked out or submitted. In the first while he was punching, he missed an opportunity to escape.”
After a tough first round, Gonzalez knew he had to keep away from Rosas in the second round and he knew it was going to be a challenge staying away from Rosas. He said he knew in the first 30 seconds of the fight that his opponent was going to take the fight to the ground.
“I could see it in the way he was moving and in his body language that he was going to take me to the ground,” Gonzalez said. “I could see that it was going wrong and I knew I had to do better. My corner said I had to scramble better after the first round. I was definitely not out of my comfort zone in this fight.”
The first ended with Gonzalez still on his back and the second wouldn’t be any different.
Gonzalez got off two kicks in the second round before he was taken to the ground again by Rosas.
The first kick was to the thigh area and it stung Rosas because he backed away.
“I knew it got to him because he was limping,” Gonzalez said. “The first kick gave me distance, but when I look at it a second time I probably should have backed up and not have taken the second kick.”
After the second kick, Rosas closed the distance quickly and kept the pressure on by taking Gonzalez to the ground about midway in the 2-minute second round.
Gonzalez tried to escape but soon found himself being choked out and had to submit.
Although he lost the fight, the 0-2 fighter was upbeat about his fighting career and is definitely going to fight again.
“I am not frustrated at all,” he said. “There are no victories and there are no losses, just lessons. In life you are sometimes the teacher and sometimes the student. This time I was the student, but soon I hope to be the teacher.”
He said he knows that he will have to improve the ground game to win, but he sees this past fight as a major improvement.
“In my last fight Hernandez reminded me that I didn’t make it past the first round, but he said, ‘This time you made it to the second round,’” Gonzalez said. “And he said, ‘Maybe the next fight you will win it in the third.’ I feel myself getting stronger and this is just a stepping stone.”
Wilson also remains positive.
“He has the warrior spirit and is very positive,” Wilson said. “He is a great kid and has a great foundation. We will be working hard on his take down defenses.”
Wilson is a relatively new addition to the Gonzalez team, in fact Wilson was not in the planning stages of the fight and was not planning on being in Gonzalez’s corner but was asked to when another coach bowed out at the last minute.
Gonzalez said if everything works out he will fight in North Las Vegas at the Cannery Hotel and Casino in September. His opponent has not been selected and he won’t know until July or later.