There were no nerves for Pearl Gonzalez in her bare-knuckle debut as the UFC and Invicta FC veteran picked up a lopsided decision win at BKFC 18.
Training alongside boxing champion Amanda Serrano for her training camp, Gonzalez stuck to the basics over five rounds while peppering Charisa Sigala with long, straight punches from the outside again and again to ultimately pitch a shutout on the scorecards.
All three judges gave Gonzalez the fight with 50-45 scores as she moved to 1-0 in her new bare-knuckle fighting career.
“Moving to Brooklyn with Team Serrano has been one of the best moves of my life,” Gonzalez said about her win. “All we worked this camp was ones and twos, structure, balance. I’m not a brawler. I’m a mixed martial artist. I’m learning to be a boxer. Every f*cking day, I’m getting better. Watch the f*ck out.”
It was a fast start for Gonzalez, who was throwing punches in bunches as soon as the fight got underway. Gonzalez kept Sigala at the end of her punches while staying technical with straight lefts and rights down the middle.
The biggest problem Sigala faced throughout the fight was struggling to get inside of Gonzalez’s long reach as she kept swinging big heavy punches but couldn’t find a home for the majority of her shots.
Gonzalez really began settling into a rhythm in the second and third rounds as she continued to pull the trigger on a well-timed jab and constant volume. Consistency was her best weapon as Gonzalez stuck to the game plan even when Sigala managed to land a couple of solid counter punches.
With damage mounting on Sigala, with a hematoma on her forehead and a mouse growing under her left eye, Gonzalez gained more confidence in her combinations and never allowed herself to get caught up in wild exchanges.
Gonzelez was just the technically superior fighter from the first minute of the fight until the very last and she barely allowed Sigala to land anything significant over five rounds.
As BKFC continues to expand their women’s divisions with fighters like Paige VanZant and Rachael Ostovich now on the roster, Gonzalez appears to be a great addition, especially after a strong showing in her debut.