New year, new you. You hear that phrase thrown around so much at the beginning of every year, but Invicta FC flyweight, Pearl Gonzalez (10-4) is living that mantra as she prepares for her upcoming co-main event fight against Miranda Maverick (6-2), this Friday night at Invicta FC 39: Frey vs Cummins 2.
It’s been almost a year since her loss to Vanessa Porto, where the fight was stopped due to an accidental eye poke from Gonzalez, resulting in a title win for Porto, but it was her last fight against Brogan Walker-Sanchez last October that made Gonzalez reevaluate everything she was doing. “I was not at all happy with my performance,” explained Gonzalez. “So, I had to go back to the drawing board. The training wasn’t the problem, I always train very hard in my training and doing all the work that needed for me to get better every day. There was something missing mentally. So, I set a goal for myself where I was going to read ten mindset books within the next couple of months.”
And the change was very apparent to Gonzalez during her Combat Jiu-Jitsu fight against Lilian Borja she took this past November. “It’s really helped tremendously, these mindset practices I’m practicing now,” said Gonzalez. “It’s kind of cool to see how much it showed up and how much improvement I’ve made mentally.” And although she got the win, Borja’s arm was broke during the match, but anyone watching knows that is something that comes along with the territory. “So the armbar was on and it I knew it was bending backwards and I was hyper extending it, and she was not tapping, and in those situations, its either her or me, so I was like I gotta keep pushing,” explained Gonzalez. “And then it broke and I felt terrible about it, but just the improvement I made physically and mentally was a huge win for me and the transitions I did really well with, but more so my mindset and the growth in that.”
Gonzalez’s improvements mentally will definitely be put to the test this Friday night against Miranda Maverick in the co-main event of the evening as an added layer of pressure will be there as well. “This is a title contention fight between Miranda and I,” said Gonzalez. “So that does solidify my rematch with Porto. I want this fight immediately. I’ll fight her next week. I’m so close to weight today. I walk around very close to my weight, closer than I have ever. I’m in great phenomenal shape and I’m not slowing down. This is my time and I want that fight as soon as possible. If Invicta will give it to me in March, I’ll take it.”
With the rematch with Porto on the top of her list for 2020, Gonzalez knows that a quick dispatching of Maverick is needed so that she can get the title she knows is meant for her. “My only goal is to have that belt, to earn that belt and to be the champion I know I am and if that’s what’s in front of me, than that’s what needs to be taken out and that’s what’s in my way and I need to remove it,” said Gonzalez. “I’m ready for Miranda. I’m ready for Porto. I’m the champion. I know I’m the champion of this division, it’s just taking the steps needed, every round, every fight, every minute done in the gym to get me closer and that’s where I’m at.”
Pearl Gonzalez will face Miranda Maverick this Friday, February 7th at Invicta FC: Frey vs Cummins 2 streaming live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass at 7pm CT.
Photo credit: Dave Mandel/Invicta FC