Ulysses got the call from the UFC to step in and fight Moraga just two weeks ago, when Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall had to bow out due to an injury. Though Gomez has plenty of MMA experience, he admits getting the call to debut “terrified” him at first. “I always wanted to fight in the UFC, definitely not on a short notice fight. But, if I didn’t take that fight, someone would have taken it on a day’s notice. After the nerves kind of went away, then the excitement kicked in. So now, I’m ready to go.”
Ever since childhood, Gomez dreamed of fighting in the UFC. “When I first started training this is all I ever wanted to do, even as a little kid, it was my ultimate goal,” Gomez said. “But, I don’t just want to fight in the UFC, I want to be a UFC champion. This is the first step to my goal.”
While Ulysses has fought at both flyweight and bantamweight in his career, he’s already decided he will only fight at flyweight in the UFC – which he sees as the best way to fast-track himself to a title shot. “I know my place. I know at 125, I’m realistically two fights away from being the number one guy in the world. At 35’s, I’m probably about another 10 fights. So, I know 25’s where I belong.”
Prior to accepting this fight, Gomez won four of his last five, but he hasn’t fought since December 2011. He’d planned to fight in May, but Ulysses had to withdraw from the fight because of a staph infection. He told MMA Fight Corner, he’s fully recovered now and ready to bang. “Mentally it was definitely a setback, but physically I feel a lot better.” He’s also switched his diet to vegetarian in January this year, which he hopes will contribute to making him a finely tuned wrecking machine.
As the UFC hopes the UFC on FOX 4 brings an action packed card that rebounds from the woes of UFC 149, Gomez promises he won’t disappoint. Hoping to avoid a case of the “Octagon Jitters”, Ulysses said he hasn’t had time to have any fear about stepping into MMA’s mainstage. “I think the good thing about taking this fight on two weeks notice is that I don’t have time to get nervous,” Gomez said. “All my time is spent just trying to prepare to get ready, so that’s the benefit…and I got nothing to lose. I mean they called me on short notice, you gotta embrace the moment and go out there and whatever happens, happens.”
A California native of Mexican heritage, Gomez plans to relish every second of his UFC debut. When he gets to Los Angeles next week, he’ll be in familiar surroundings. “I’m a huge Lakers fan. I get to look up and see the banners. Last time I was at Staples Center, I was paying to watch the Lakers play, and now, people are paying to watch me. It’s a dream come true and I’m going to cherish every moment of it.”
The preliminary card on FUEL TV will start airing at 5pm ET/2pm PT and Gomez vs Moraga will be the first fight of the night. The main card on FOX begins at 8pm ET/5pm PT.