Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a full contact combat sport and Turlock’s Lewis Gonzalez competes in the sport as a professional fighter.
Turlock’s Lewis Gonzalez (aka “Lethal” Lewis Gonzalez) turns 25 next week and will be looking to keep his MMA undefeated record on Friday night in Sacramento.
Both MMA and Gonzalez are starting to get more known in Turlock but many people still don’t know all about the sport or the fighter.
Gonzalez began wrestling at the young age of 6, and along with his older brothers, was influenced to wrestle by his dad. As Gonzalez got older, he wrested at Turlock High School and accomplished something that no other wrestler had done; he won back-to-back State Championship Titles when he was a junior and senior. He was in the top 50 recruiting class in the U.S.A. coming out of high school. Later Gonzalez went on to wrestle at Palomar J.C. in San Marcos where he won the JC State Championship Title.
Lethal Lewis Gonzalez became a pro MMA fighter just over a year ago. Gonzalez has sponsors, Turlock Poker Room and 51 Fifty Energy Drink, and gets paid for each fight he’s in.
Before a fight, Gonzalez really starts training about 4-5 weeks before and his routine involves 2-3 workouts a day. Gonzalez took some time between a workout and running session and stopped by one of his sponsors, Turlock Poker Room, to explain a little about where he’s at in his MMA career while promoting his upcoming fight.
“I try to explain to people who watch baseball that where I’m fighting at is like where baseball players work their way up to the Major League, in the minor leagues,” explained Gonzalez.
Gonzalez started training for MMA fighting when he was 19 after he started seeing some people in UFC or Bellator on TV that he used to beat in wrestling matches. While he was working at Bilson’s Sport Shop, Gonzalez got interested and went across the street to Team Voodoo on Lander Avenue. He spoke with trainer Gene Fields and then later started training with Fields.
While Gonzalez had a good wrestling background, he still had to work on his standup and jiu-jitsu a lot. After training with Fields and working on his techniques, Gonzalez said that he was ready to fight at the age of 21.
With a previous amateur record of 3-0 and a current pro record of 5-0, Gonzalez is starting to get noticed. He continually trains with Gene Fields at Team Voodoo and he also works on his boxing technique at the Delhi Boxing Club with coach Jeff Tovar.
“What’s been good for me, I haven’t gone to a decision and only one of my fights has gone out of the first round,” said Gonzalez. “Nobody wants to see a decision; fans want to see knockouts, TKOs, and submissions.”
MMA is getting more popular and Gonzalez believes it’s because people can relate to it more.
“Boxing has always been big but I think people can relate to MMA more because it’s like a brawl,” said Gonzalez. “It’s more of a real fight.”
After mentioning real fights, Gonzalez talked a little about what it’s like to go out around town. Gonzalez explained that if someone tries to fight him just to say they fought an MMA fighter and such, his brothers or friends will intervene so his career isn’t put into jeopardy. Gonzalez is licensed by the Boxing Commission which holds him to certain standards in order to keep his license.
“Just looking at me in a crowd, people wouldn’t think that I’m a MMA fighter,” said Gonzalez. “I’ve heard people say it puts a target on my back.”
“But when I go out in Turlock, like at Red Brick, it’s pretty chill and calm.”
And people around Turlock, they’ve been real supportive of “Lethal” Lewis Gonzalez.
Gonzalez is appreciative of all the local support he has. He said that a lot of people on facebook want to know when his fights are and that they go to watch his fights.
Gonzalez also stated that he coaches wrestling at THS so the encouragement goes both ways. For many years Gonzalez has volunteered his time coaching the youth in Turlock and taking the kids to tournaments all over the state. He is also a certified wrestling official and has officiated all over the State.
His good friends Frankie Tovar recorded his intro music for when he comes into a fight and Lucas Solarez video records his fights, makes highlights, and t-shirts for all the “Lethal” Lewis fans.
“I’d like to thank everybody in Turlock who supports me and helps me out a lot,” concluded Gonzalez.
Lethal Lewis Gonzalez looks to improve his record to 6-0. His opponent, Preston Scharf, has a record of 12-13. The fight at "Rage IV War" presented by Uppercut Promotions is on Friday, September 14th, at 7:30pm. Tickets start at $45 and can be purchased at http://www.showclix.com/event/3712929. Lethal Lewis T-shirts and tank tops are available now. People can get shirts by contacting Lucas Solarez or Lewis Gonzalez on facebook or by calling Gonzalez at (209) 541-4181.