Diego Gonzalez is an amazing ground fighter with a quickly developing stand-up game. He is a vet of FinnFight, Shooto, Bodog, Superior Challenge, and most recently Sengoku.
He is currently recovering from knee surgery, and is looking to return to the fight game in early 2011. Prior to his recent loss in March of 2010 to Akihiro Gono, he was on an eight fight win streak with his prior loss at the hands of UFC title challenger Dan Hardy.
His last fight was against Akihiro Gono at Sengoku 12. He lost a close fight –visit http://mixedmartialartvideos.com/akihiro-gono-vs-diego-gonzalez-video-sengoku-12/ to see the whole fight.
We look forward to seeing Diego Gonzalez back in action. I think he was one fight away from making a big MMA splash, and a win against Gono, a former Pride and Pancrase star (and UFC fighter) would have been the push he needed to get in some top 20 rankings.
Here is a highlight video:
This is an interview from MMAforum.se, which was originally in Swedish. I tried my best to translate this to English.
Who is Diego Gonzalez?
Diego is a 22 year old Latin American figher from Fittja, Sweden.
How did you come in contact with MMA?
I saw a video tape with some UFC and I knew immediately that this was what I wanted to get involved with. First thing I did after I saw the band was to find Omar’s Club.
Did you train anything else before you started with MMA?
Karate when I was younger for about 2 years.
What should you consider if you want to start training?
Nothing special. It is a sport for everyone. Then there are of course various levels of training but it is a sport for all, I think. You should just find it fun to train hard.
What do you think are most important to become a great fighter?
Heart clearly. You can have the world’s technology but have you no heart, you will never succeed.
You train and compete for Hilti, how is it that Hilti has produced so much good fighters?
There are many good guys who always encourages each other to get better. We have a good team spirit and everyone helps everyone to work out.
Your last three matches, each in CWFC in England, how it is to race there?
The audience is definitely different. Where most of them just want to see violence. Them appreciate the technology is not the same as in Sweden.
Your first match against Dan Hardy that you won later became a No contest, huh what happened?
That was just a bunch of crap. I won the match with a rear naked in the second round. Approximately 2 months after the fight they changed it to a no contest because he suggested that I hit him in the back of the head. I am not saying that I did not hit him in the back of the head, but never deliberately, and that sort of thing happens in a fight and it will never be like this decision. It was only because he is their “golden boy”.
First, you dominated the match right from the start but in the return match, you lost, what was this?
What can you say. Beat him so easily the first time that I underestimated him. Trained at pretty good but was never really focused. Took care not my dieting properly and was thinking about the game than after the match. But I have only myself to blame. Learned the lesson the hard way with 7 stitches above the eye and I am glad.
Hardy defeated recently Izidro won CWFC over 73kg title, are you looking for a Gonzalez vs. Hardy 3?
I want nothing more than to defeat Hardy again. I know that I am the better fighter of the two of us. He talks so much shit. He knows deep down that I take him if we meet again. The only problem is that the money in the CW is not even close to Bodog and I am proffesional so I have to take that path.
You recently participated in Bodog reality show in St. Petersburg, tell us about it?
Just to get eh with was an experience. We stayed at 5 star hotels for 10 days only it’s something you do not usually do. The only problem is that I am a pretty quiet person and they wanted that they would talk on visible as soon as the camera was there. My mood before the match is not so good, so it was difficult to va totally happy when we got to sit in a bus half the day and wait to be interviews. It was hard to constantly had to do a lot of stuff rather than train or rest. But we understand of course why it is so. Believe that the outcome will be okay in the end. It did get a lot of fun stuff too. And the afterparty was world class. Can unfortunately not say how the game went on because of the contract.
When and where can we see it?
The only thing they said was that it would be sometime in January. It goes on any cable television channel in the United States and in several other locations around the world. You can also download the series for free on bodogfight.com
What happens now, you have more irons in the fire with Bodog or will you continue the fight in CWFC?
Whatever the outcome, I will probably continue the cooperation. Think that Bodog will be really great. You do not include the mkt them focus on this.
Several of the Hilti have tried their luck in Japan, it is something you crave, or maybe even have the plans?
It is in the plans. But I is not really that interested in Shooto in Japan. When I stay rather remain in the Bodog where there is better money.
What can we expect of Diego Gonzalez in the future?
Whatever. I will reach the top. I’m only 22 years and I have a workout like training and discipline that few have. I will do everything to achieve my goals.
If you could choose your opponent for a match who would it be and why?
I meet anyone. I do not think that proffesional fighter to turn down appearances. It runs only. If the UFC would call me and ask if I can face tomorrow GSP so I do. Would probably lose, but I would give everything.
What would you say is Sweden’s three best fighters right now?
We have many great fighters right now but I think Bielkheden and Eklund are the best.
After New Year, the new MMA Delegation will go into effect, how do you think the new law will affect the growing interest in MMA in Sweden?
We do not know yet what will happen with MMA in Sweden. Hopefully it’s only a matter of time before the sport is big in Sweden.
Any last words for our users?
Watch out for me in the future. My time will come. Want to thank everyone who supports me when I can match it means a lot for me. Want to thank everyone at Hilti BJJ for all training and support, my sponsor jabb.se to help me with everything I had, my friend Reza Maddadi to sponsor me for this game (look out for him in the near future) and my family and girlfriend for them to stand with me before my matches.