By: Ulysses Gomez
What just happened?
I couldn’t believe that I had lost the fight! I thought for sure that I had won two rounds to one. Not one but two judges gave him all three rounds. After the fight I headed to my hotel to take a quick shower and watch the fight since it was still online.
After watching the fight I felt that I did in fact win 2-1. Later on I found out that every judge gave Phil Harris the first round even though I felt I had clearly out-struck him in the first round. Anyways we headed back to the venue to watch the rest of the fights.
Phil and his team were sitting right next to us which was kind of ironic. I liked Phil and he was a very nice guy when we talked before the fight but I wasn’t in a mood to talk. I wasn’t upset at him or anything, he did his job, he came to fight and fought a good fight.
I was more disappointed in the judge’s decision. Regardless, we hung out for a little bit and talked about the fight for a minute or so. I didn’t want to sound like a sore loser when I was talking to him but I really didn’t feel like I had lost the fight.
For the rest of the night all that was on my mind was my fight. I couldn’t see how two judges gave him all three rounds. While I was walking around the venue a few people recognized me and I asked him how they scored the fight.
Almost all of them told me they had felt that I won. That made me feel a lot better but at the same time it wouldn’t change the fact that I had now lost two fights in a row for the first time in my career.
The few that said they felt I had lost I asked them what rounds did I lose and they all said I had lost the second and third round. I can see the third round but not the second.
I tried to enjoy the rest of the fights but all I really wanted to do was get some food and head back to Vegas. I haven’t seen my family for eight days and I was ready to go home.
There is a great quote and I think it’s very true, “When people win they party, when they lose they ponder.” The flight back home was a little over 12 hours so I had plenty of time to think about my fight and my career.
I should have been more aggressive in the third round. Gil told me to be more aggressive but not careless and for some reason instead of fighting to win I fought not to lose. I tried to keep the third round close without making a mistake to get finished.
Instead of going out there to make a statement in the final round I just went out there to keep it competitive. But at the same time, even if I went out there gung-ho and won the third round, I would have still lost the fight 29-28 because two judges had Phil pitching a shutout on me. Regardless, I should have been more aggressive in the third round.
Besides being more aggressive I felt I did an excellent job with my footwork. Phil never had me in danger of getting me against the fence. The only time Phil had me against the fence was when I had shot in to close the distance, but other than that I kept proper distance.
Even though I had good footwork and it kept me out of danger, I should have used my footwork to back Phil up more and trap him against the fence. I was so worried about not getting caught against the fence that I missed a few opportunities to put Phil against the fence myself.
Another thing that was really working for me was my leg kicks but I felt I had become too predictable with my leg kicks towards the end of the fight. I should have done a lot better job in mixing my leg kicks with my combinations and my feints as well.
My rhythm had become a broken record and even though I was catching Phil with leg kicks I should have mixed it up and kept him guessing. I also should have used my boxing more but since I was doing such a good job with my leg kicks, I felt like why risk it and go with something that might not work?
Back to work
It was good to come home and see my family because I sure missed them a lot. I wasn’t beat up or hurt from the fight so I was back in the gym the Monday after my fight. I had plenty of things that I needed to work on to improve my game and I didn’t want to waste any time.
The time after a fight is very crucial; some fighters take weeks even months off and only train when they have a fight coming up. I like to get back in the gym to work on my game, that’s when I notice I make the most improvements. If you only train when you have a fight coming up you’re not going to get better as a fighter, you have to be in the gym daily working on your craft.
The Wednesday after my fight I just got to Gold’s Gym to do some cardio, as I was doing the Stairmaster I clicked on an article posted by Ariel Helwani with the title “Jon Fitch and 15 other UFC fighters get cut” I decided to click on the article to help pass the time.
As I was reading the article I came across the list of fighters and I noticed a very familiar name on it. MINE! My name was the last name on the list; I sent a tweet out to Ariel asking if the article was correct.
I wasn’t aware that I had been cut, I called my manager and he said he would get to the bottom of it and let me know, he wasn’t aware either. After about an hour or so he finally called me back and confirmed that the UFC “has exercised their right to terminate my contract.” So now not only was I on a two-fight losing streak but I also didn’t have a job with the UFC.
As soon as word got out that I got released people wanted to know two things, “How did I feel getting released by the UFC” and “What are my plans for the future”.
I think people were surprised with my answer about how I felt when I got released. I mean I was disappointed that I got let go but I wasn’t disappointed with the UFC. Let’s be real, they gave me not one but two chances to win a fight in the UFC and I failed both times.
On top of that, they gave me the opportunity to fight in front of 16,000 people, not counting the hundreds of thousands of people watching at home. I made some good money fighting from the UFC and also got some notoriety as well.
I understand the business side of things and it’s hard to promote a guy who’s on a two fight losing streak. From a business stand point I understand why I got cut, but from a personal stand point I hate that I had been cut.
I didn’t feel bitter about being cut or anything like that. I figure being bitter is just a waste of energy and emotion. I could be mad all I want but it wouldn’t change the fact I wasn’t with the company anymore.
I think about my brother Herc and how he had been traded from team to team, and even one of his coaches told him that he should quit soccer because he wasn’t going to make it and he was wasting his time.
My brother didn’t quit, he used him being cut as motivation to prove his doubters and former coach wrong. Now my brother plays for one of the most successful teams in Mexico and he’s also on the U.S. Men’s National Team. Now that I’ve been released I have to prove to everyone including the UFC that they made a mistake. The best revenge is success!
Next phase – Pandemonium!
Since I was a free agent now I had to find a new home, I got lots of great offers from many different promotions but ultimately the best fit for me was Pandemonium Fights. Pandemonium gives me exactly what I’m looking for; it’s a three-fight deal that allows me to stay busy.
I only fought once last year and twice the year before which isn’t very much. I prefer to fight three times a year so they can give me those three fights in a year’s time. Besides that, my contract allows me to opt out when the UFC calls me back.
Pandemonium gives me the structure that I need but also the flexibility that I want as a fighter. My first fight with them is supposed to be in June and I really cannot wait to fight for them!
I know that other fighters are going to try to use me as a spring board, like if they beat me it’s their meal ticket to the UFC. But that’s not the case; it’s actually the other way around. They are my meal ticket back to the UFC. But not only do I have to beat them but I have to finish them.
I can’t let any of my fights go to the judge’s decision especially after my last fight. I know what the UFC looks for in a fighter and I know that I can compete at the highest level; I just have to prove it to the UFC and everyone else out there. Me getting cut by the UFC isn’t the end of my career, actually it’s just the beginning.
Read Part 3: Ulysses Gomez: My journey to UFC on Fuel TV 7 and beyond-Part 3
Read Part 2: Ulysses Gomez: My journey to UFC on Fuel TV 7 and beyond-Part 2
Read Part 1: Ulysses Gomez: My journey to UFC on Fuel TV 7 and beyond-Part 1