The newest member of the bantamweight roster isn’t too concerned with the first-time UFC jitters hitting him during his debut against Rob Font on Sunday. Joey Gomez has been through worse trials than having a fellow athlete trying to punch him in the face.
“I’ve had people hunting me,” the United States Marine Corps veteran said. “I’ve had people trying to kill me, putting bombs on the side of the road to blow me up.”
Two tours in Iraq will make what happens on UFC Fight Night at Boston’s TD Garden sedate by comparison, but the 29-year-old still gets those healthy butterflies just before the bell rings.
“It is nerve racking getting into a cage and putting it all out there because you’ll never be more vulnerable,” he said. “It’s the rawest form of competition, and it’s a very intimate thing that you’re allowing people to see.”
The unbeaten New Hampshire product hasn’t given fans too much to see thus far, though, as all six of his pro fights have ended by first-round knockout. That kind of run has made his bout with fellow KO artist and New Englander Font a highly anticipated one, as well as a fight Gomez — a one-time training partner of Font’s — always knew eventually would happen.
“I’ve known Rob for a couple years now, and he’s a good dude,” he said. “I really respect him as a person and as a fighter. For me, I knew this day was coming. It was bound to happen, and I think Rob knew, too. I had always anticipated us having a fight one day.
“I think he views fighting the same way I do — it’s a job. I may like you, but that’s not going to stop me from doing my job. I don’t have to hate you to fight you, I just have to fight you.”
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@Naderhood
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