Former Tachi Palace Fights Flyweight Champion Ulysses Gomez (8-2) returned to action this past weekend against tough wrestler Drew Bittner (4-2) at Tachi Palace Fights 10 in Lemoore, Calif. It was Gomez’s first fight back since losing his title in February of this year to Darrell Montague (9-2). And although Gomez moved up in weight to take the fight at 135-pounds, no one wants two losses in a row on their record.
There is one thing all opponents should know when they step in the cage with Ulysses Gomez, and that is the fact that there is at least a 60% chance you are going to get submitted. It might not be the first attempt, or the second, or even the third, but sooner or later there is a high probability one of your limbs is going to get snapped or you’re going to sleep if you don’t tap out.
And sure enough, that is what happened to Drew Bittner Friday night. No, it wasn’t Uly’s guillotine choke that got him. And it wasn’t Uly’s gogoplata that got him, although for a moment it looked as though we were about to see a “submission of the year” candidate. In the end it was the ol’ trusty rear-naked choke that did Bittner in.
ProMMAnow.com (www.prommanow.com) caught up with Ulysses after the fight to find out just how close he was to finishing with that gogoplata and to get his thoughts about who won the first round. We also talked about why this win was such a relief for him and what lies ahead for the flyweight contender. Uly also filled us in on his wild and crazy post-fight celebration!
PRO MMA NOW: Hello Uly. Thanks for taking time to speak with us following your win over Drew Bittner at Tachi Palace Fights 10 on Friday. How are you feeling today physically, any bumps or bruises, and how did you spend Friday night after the fight, did you do anything special to celebrate?
ULYSSES GOMEZ: I feel like I’ve been in a fight. Ha-ha. I feel good, just my knee is a little tweaked from the gogoplata that I went for. Celebrate? I had a piece of cheesecake. Ha-ha.
PRO MMA NOW: Cheesecake? Let’s don’t get carried away there Uly. Were you surprised with how quickly Bittner shot in on you and were you impressed with his wrestling or takedown ability?
ULYSSES GOMEZ: I knew he was a great wrestler the only thing that surprised me was when he tried to trade with me in the very beginning of the fight.
PRO MMA NOW: I tried to be as unbiased as possible in the scoring, and it’s very rare a fighter wins a round in the judges’ eyes when they are on bottom, but I actually had you winning the first round even though he was on top for a large portion of the round. What do you think?
ULYSSES GOMEZ: During the fight I felt that he won the first round but when I watched it on DVD later that night I felt I won it. So….. ha-ha I dunno.
PRO MMA NOW: That gogoplata was sweet. It looked perfect and I thought for a second he might tap. How close do you think he was to tapping there and why do you think he was able to get out of it?
ULYSSES GOMEZ: I thought it was close man! I knew I didn’t have the right angle on it because I could feel my knee popping but I didn’t care because I wanted to finish him with it. Now I kinda wish I would have let it go and moved onto something else because my knee hurts.
PRO MMA NOW: Is that a move you drill a lot in practice? And for those who might not fully comprehend the intricacies of it, can you kind of explain what makes a gogoplata so difficult to pull off compared to other submissions? Is there a “secret” to nailing that move?
ULYSSES GOMEZ: I hit the omoplata alot in training but not the gogoplata very much. It’s a difficult move because it’s kinda of like high risk high reward type. The secret is catching the guy by surprise, haha.
PRO MMA NOW: As round two started, what changed? Because unlike the first round he was not able to get you down and you ended up taking him down, do you feel he was gassing a little or what was different?
ULYSSES GOMEZ: I saw in his previous fights that he tends to fade in the second round so I was ready for that. I expected him to throw some punches then shoot in for the takedown and that’s what he did.
PRO MMA NOW: I don’t know if you heard, but the online stream quality was pretty bad so it was kind of hard to see everything. But can you sort of walk us through the ending of the fight and how you were able to set up the finish?
ULYSSES GOMEZ: You’re going to have to wait for my final blog this week. I’m going to give a rundown on the fight and what I felt before, after and during the fight.
PRO MMA NOW: Sweet. Looking forward to that. After you choked him out and you stood up, you wiped your brow as if to say, “Whew”. How relieved were you to get the win and can you explain why it was such a relief for you?
ULYSSES GOMEZ: I couldn’t see myself losing two fights in a row. I was happy that I finished him and to get in the win column again.
PRO MMA NOW: I didn’t even get to see the main event because of the stream. Did you see it and do you have any thoughts on it?
ULYSSES GOMEZ: I didn’t see it either, I was taking a shower and cashing my check during the fight. Serious.
PRO MMA NOW: What’s next for Mr. Gomez? Do you feel you are ready and deserve a title shot right away or what do you do?
ULYSSES GOMEZ: As far as a title shot, it’s difficult for me to ask for one or justify it after beating a guy at 135. If he would have been a 125-pounder than I could see it. Besides I don’t pick my fights, they just tell me when and against who and I show up and fight.
PRO MMA NOW: Great fight Uly. Congratulations and it has been a real pleasure reading your blogs over the past couple months. It has really helped us and I think a lot of fight fans out there get to know you and I know a lot of people are going to be watching closely and cheering for you as you try to get your title back. Thanks so much. Before we let you go are there any sponsors or coaches or teammates you would like to thank who helped you get ready for this fight?
ULYSSES GOMEZ: Everyone who helped me in this fight they know who they are and they know how much they mean to me. Thanks again guys!
See plenty more photos from Tachi Palace Fights 10 taken by Ben Iliili over at MMAKO.TV.