Posts Tagged ‘Antonio McKee’

 

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By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Realizing a dream, and living one are completely different animals. The first is beset by big league aspirations where hard work and determination get you to the big show. The later is rarely an ambition until the earlier is in the rear view mirror. Most mixed martial artists dream of making it to the UFC. Few have the foresight to learn how to stay there.

Early success often teach harsh lessons later in life. Athletes often mature physically way before they develop mentally enough to handle such success. Chase Gormley (9-4 MMA) at one time was 6-0 with only 2 decisions to his credit. He was exciting to watch, and his powerful hands left opponents asleep and the fans cheering. His size, strength, grit and blue collar mind set made him ripe for the picking. And before he was ready, like many others, Gormley was plucked from the regional vine and thrust into the maelstrom of The UFC.

Physically he was a gifted specimen and riding the win streak when the UFC came knocking Gormley was more than willing to open the door. “When the UFC calls, you answer the call!” Gormley said. “My first fight was cancelled because my opponent was injured.” This led to a long layoff, which left him out of peak form, and according to the lumbering heavyweight “The UFC is not the place for you to knock off the ring rust!”

That rust was removed rather quickly by 7 foot heavyweight Stefan Struve, who was able to submit Gormley with a triangle choke in the first round of their fight. The first fight in the UFC for Gormely, ended with his first loss as a professional.

Chalking it up to the aforementioned ‘ring rust’ Gormley returned at ‘UFC Live 1 Vera vs Jones’ and faced a very tough Brendan Schaub. Ready to make his splash in the big pond, Gormely was set to make his mark. The fight lasted just :47 seconds.

In just :47 seconds Chase Gormley went from ‘Promising UFC heavyweight’ to being cut by the promotion after just 2 fights. Wondering what was next? Gormley continued fighting on the regional circuit. Alternating wins and losses, his once promising career now toiled in the balance.

“The love wasn’t there anymore!”, Gormley said. “I was only training twice a week, the losses started building, and I just lost the love!” Gormely said. “I retired, because I didn’t have my heart in the sport anymore.”

For almost 2 years, Gormley was content to remain ‘the guy that made it to the UFC’, but a phone call from a well known UFC fighter changed everything. “I got a call from Roy Nelson, who wanted me to help him train for the Cormier fight.” Gormley said. That phone call reignited the fire that once fueled a promising career.  After that training camp Chase returned to training but this time with a completely different mind set.

Winning his first fight back (a tune up fight in Kuwait), Gormley is now training full time with several different teams. Currently working with Antonio McKee’s Bodyshop, Mark Munoz’s Reign MMA, and with Tracy Hess at Subfighter, Gormley is again looking to make a name for himself as a fighter. This time, he plans on taking his time and building slowly to become the kind of fighter who can stay at the top!

His next test is against savy cage veteran Tony Lopez (34-14 MMA)  at ‘Chaos At The Casino 5‘. Lopez, a well known So-Cal native has fought in every major organization except the UFC. He has notable wins over Kyle Kingsbury, Wes Combs, and Joey Beltran, and is looking to build a winning streak for one last run in the sport. This fight will test Gormley, a test he is ready for, pass or fail.

A more matured Gormley although optimistic, is very measured when he discusses his chances. “Tony is no slouch, the guy has fought all over the world.” Gormley said. “I know he is real tough, and win or lose its a good situation for me. If I can beat him its a huge win, and if I lose then I will know what I have to work on, its a win win situation! ”

For Gormely each fight used to be the last. As a young fighter his physicality alone was able to carry him all the way to the UFC. Now that his technique and demeanor have matured, he seems back on course. Still fairly young, the future is again ahead of the once promising heavyweight. Chase Gormley has been to the top before, and there is no reason to think he can’t once again achieve his octagon dreams.

For now though, Gormley continues to climb the mountain one step at a time. Each foothold is secured, and each harness fastned. His movements are deliberate and planned. No longer living punch to punch, a more mature fighter is left again at the foot of the mountain. His goal this time is not only getting to the summit, but this time Gormley is making certain he stays on top!

 

 

 

 

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By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

When you see Lewis Gonzalez (9-0 MMA, 1-0 WSOF) for the first time in person, after watching him fight its almost as if you are meeting a completely different person. Inside the cage, he is a physical specimen with an incredible wrestling pedigree, that is complimented well by a very aggressive ‘in your face’ style of fighting. His demeanor outside the cage however is quite different. With a boyish innocence, and a earthy smile its easy too like Gonzalez, unless of course you have to fight him.

Undefeated mostly at the regional level, Gonzalez is somewhat unique. Most fighters at this point in his career have bloated records against marginal competition. But with impressive wins over Bellator prospect Justin Baseman early in his career and UFC Veteran Antonio McKee at his WSOF debut, Gonzalez is seasoned beyond years would appear.

So, when JZ Cavalcante fell out his scheduled title fight against Justin Gaethje (10-0 MMA 2-0 WSOF) due too injury, Gonzalez became the logical replacement. When the call came, it didn’t take long for Gonzalez to decide. “I was on my way to wrestling practice, when my manager Dave Hirschbein called!”  Gonzalez said. “And although the nerves will be up for this fight, once you make contact, the nerves disappear and it will be a fight like every other!”

His opponent Gaethje is regarded by many as the crown jewel prospect in the WSOF roster, and Gonzalez understands why. “He goes for it in every fight!” Gonzalez said. “He is a tough fighter, that is for sure!” However, although he finds Gaethje entertaining, he doesn’t seem worried about his striking. “I’m gonna be right in his face the whole time.” Gonzalez said.

In his last fight against McKee, Gonzalez was able to smother one of the most notorious grinders in the history of MMA. Although the fight ended prematurely (Technical decision low blow),  the fight was never in question. Many thought the win was a huge upset, however Gonzalez was disappointed. “I wanted too finish, but It ended the way it did…in the end, I had to out grind The Grinder.”

Now, Gonzalez is faced with his toughest competition too date. In Gaethje he faces another young, undefeated fighter, who is hungry to win his first  world title. Gaethje is a heavy handed wrestler who may not be technical in all aspects of the game, but he is dangerous in every position, something Gonzalez understands quite well. “He is a dangerous guy, he throws heavy hands, and he is a wrestler like I am!” Gonzalez said. “However, he has a tendency to get caught out of position, and when he does he leaves himself open!”

Those openings will definitely be the focus for his team as he prepares for this fight.  Gonzalez is currently part of the Nor-Cal MMAGOLD stable, and also trains at the Delhi Boxing Club that according to Gonzalez is the key to his success. “My manager brings in top guys to train with, and puts me up when I travel, so I am able to get a good mix of training.” Gonzalez said.  “Its awesome having a team with over 20 guys that never miss practice.”

Heading into the January 18th bout as the underdog is not something that bothers Gonzalez. ” I was the underdog in the McKee fight, I’ve been the underdog most of my career.” Gonzalez said. “I don’t mind being the underdog!”

Lewis Gonzalez is Sponsored By: Gamma Labs, Blood Happens, RBP, WAR Athletic, West Coast Nutrition, Jaco Athletic, 86 Athletics, APEX Solutions, MMAPINK and Lexani. You can follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LewisGonzalez9

Lewis is part of MMAGold Fight Team:  http://mmagold.com/

And trains primarily at The Delhi Boxing Club, in Delhi California.

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By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Every mixed martial artist dreams of fighting a ‘big name’ on a grand stage, however more often than not the nerves play a major role in determining the fights outcome. For Lewis Gonzalez (9-0), that dream came true, and the nerves, well they were present, but shortly after the first round started they disappeared.

“The nerves were up!” Gonzalez said. “Fighting a guy like Antonio McKee is a huge opportunity!” Lewis made the most of that opportunity by winning a controversial decision that went to the judges score card after McKee was struck in the back of the head by an inadvertent elbow early in the 3rd round.

Gonzalez was clearly in charge of the fight, and after the fight was waved off, he was awarded the win 29-28 on all of the judges scorecards.

For Gonzalez, the future is extremely bright. Even the win is marred by the foul, it is still a huge victory over a very well known fighter. McKee has fought all over the world and in every major organization. For Gonzalez, this win will thrust his career forward, for McKee it puts an uncomfortable lid on an amazing career.

McKee had stated to several media outlets that a loss would lead him in to retirement. Even though the fight ended in controversy, McKee stated in an interview with Aaron Tru from Tru MMA that he was in fact retiring from competition.

With the World Series of Fighting set to create a 155 lbs tournament to crown it first promotional champion, Lewis Gonzalez may be on a short list of names to compete for that title. However with fighters like Nick Newell, JZ Calvacante, and Justin Gaethje also vying for the shot, nothing is guaranteed!