XFC Women's Flyweight Pearl Gonzalez - From Childhood to the XFC Cage
Gonzalez is relatively new to professional MMA, with only one Pro fight on her record however, the self-proclaimed “girly girl” has been involved with mixed martial arts for almost as long as she can remember. Growing up in a tough neighborhood of Chicago, Gonzalez was raised by her single father who worked long hours to support her and could not always be home when school let out. To keep Pearl off the streets and away from gangs and violence, he entered his 11-year-old daughter into martial arts classes at Chicago’s Combat-Do.
At Combat-Do, Pearl trained in MMA, Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, and kickboxing while getting involved with amateur competitions at a very young age. At just age 12, Pearl joined a Pankration team and began competing in tournaments while training with some of today’s top MMA fighters.
Gonzalez says she even remembers a time when MMA veteran Shoney Carter was giving her pointers and insight as she prepared for upcoming fights. She went on to earn two amateur MMA titles, a NAGA tournament, and an Absolute Jiu-Jitsu belt before making the decision to turn pro.
Stepping into the professional game, Gonzalez dropped a majority decision in her first fight against top ranked knock out artist Munah Holland.
Holland, as XFC fans know, is also responsible for the sole blemish on XFC-vet Marianna Kheyfets record, and has also knocked out journey-woman fighter Carina Goncalves. While it was a very tough matchup for a pro debut, Gonzalez claims it was also one of the best learning experiences thus far in her career and would not mind a rematch later on down the road, stating, “I like that fight again if it came up, but I see myself winning next time.”
First however, Gonzalez will have to conquer challenger Suzie Montero at XFC 22 in February. Montero brings a record of 1-1 to the bout, fighting under one of the most prestigious teams in the country, American Top Team out of Florida.
Gonzalez sized up her opponent briefly, saying, “She has good stand up, a very active guard. She’s aggressive and fights with a lot of emotion.” Gonzalez quickly added, “I like to stand and bang too, but I’m ready for any aspect of the fight, where ever it goes.”
Pearl Gonzalez (0-1) and Suzie Montero (1-1) will be in the Featured Bout position at XFC 22 on February 22.
To see Gonzalez in her first appearance under the XFC banner visit www.OfficialXFC.com to purchase tickets.
For more information on the event and upcoming XFC news, follow the promotion on Facebook and Twitter ‘@OfficialXFC’. XFC 22: ‘Crossing the Line’ is presented by ICRealTime Security Solutions and ThroatPunch Ind. Apparel. The event will air live on AXStv on February 22 from the Grady Cole Center in Charlotte, North Carolina at 9pm.
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Photos from XFC