Justin Gonzales Reflects on Dana White Contender Series Experience Ahead of Bellator MMA Debut

Jun 9, 2021

“J-Train” took it personally when Dana White didn’t offer him a contract.

Justin Gonzales (11-0, 0-0 BMMA) will make his Bellator MMA debut on Friday at Bellator 260 against Tywan Claxton in a featherweight tilt. The 30-year-old took part in Dana White’s Contender Series back in June 2019, where he upended Zach Zane via unanimous decision. Even though he brought home a well-deserved victory, he wasn’t offered the Ultimate Fighting Championship contract he desired.

“I kind of took it personal,” he said. “It kind of sucked; I felt like I deserved a contract, but this is my journey, man. God has a plan for me. Maybe, it just wasn’t time yet. It just kind of was really interesting, regardless of what the outcome comes, regardless of all these outside factors, I’m doing me, I’m doing this for me, for my family, my fans out there. Regardless of what happens, I enjoy what I do, I chose this path, and it’s fun to be able to say that. There’s a lot of outside factors that really f-ck with people, mess with their heads, but having it in my hands and being able to do it my way, my life, my style, it’s really exciting to say that, man. I think I took that with a little bit of grain of salt, but being able to do it my way is really big and important to me.”

Tudor Leonte started writing about mixed martial arts in 2013 for Italian media outlets. His journey with Sherdog begun in 2018 and now he covers One Championship and countless European shows. You can follow him on Twitter @MrTudorLeonte.


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