In just a few short days, Bellator MMA will head to the Pechanga Resort & Casino on Friday, January 16th for Bellator 132; their first event of 2015.

While the main event title fight between featherweight champion Patricio Freire and challenger Daniel Straus is getting all of the attention, many are overlooking the intriguing welterweight showdown between Fernando Gonzalez and Marius Zaromskis; a fight with Bellator welterweight title implications.

Having won his last two Bellator bouts against Karl Amoussou and Karo Parisyan, Gonzalez has emerged as a dark horse title contender in the welterweight division.

“I feel great,” Gonzalez told The MMA Corner. “We had a great training camp and I’m prepared. I’m excited to get in there and scrap it out. I’m a striker mostly and I know we’re going to put on a sick fight. I can’t wait to put on a show.”

Zaromskis is one of the most dangerous strikers in the welterweight division with 14 of his 20 career victories coming by way of knockout. But as good as Zaromskis has proven to be, Gonzalez can see the flaw in his game.

“He’s really wild,” Gonzalez said. “And that’s where I’m going to be able to catch him. He’s really dangerous, but he’s mostly dangerous when he’s wild. I’ve got to be cautious, but I feel his strength is going to play into my favor.”

Beating Zaromskis on Friday would make Gonzalez 3-0 in the Bellator cage and it would put him one step closer to title contention. But Gonzalez knows that even a win over Zaromskis won’t push him to the front of the line.

“I’m hoping that if I win this one impressively, which I plan to do, with two or three more fights I’ll have the title,” Gonzalez said. “I don’t try to put too much pressure on myself, but I know that if I keep performing the way I am and giving the shows that I do they’ll (Bellator MMA) give it to me eventually.”

Since joining Bellator, Gonzalez has been thrown to the wolves so to speak, but in both outings he has come out on top. Heading into this bout with Zaromskis he finds himself in a similar situation; playing the role of the underdog.

“One of the bigger things I like about fighting these guys is they’re expected to win,” Gonzalez said. “That takes a lot of pressure off of me. They’re supposed to beat me and every time I win it just shoots me up that much higher. I know I can beat these guys, I know I can compete against them so I have no pressure going into the fight and it makes a huge difference for me.”

“I like to prove people wrong,” Gonzalez said. “I love doing that; being able to do that against top level guys is one of the best feelings in the world.”

For a fighter with over a decade’s worth of professional MMA experience, it seems like Gonzalez has finally turned the corner and things are coming together. Now that he is able to focus all of his time and effort into the fight game, Gonzalez is finally reaching his full potential.

“For a long time I’ve know I could compete against those guys,” Gonzalez said. “For me it’s just being able to show it now. Every fight that I get I’m getting better and better and I have more time to prepare and train and to really focus on the things that I have to. Before I was working two jobs and training just to try to make ends meet, but now I really start focusing on just training. With that I am getting better.”

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.