Mando Gutierrez is quickly establishing himself as one of Michigan’s top amateur prospects. At Lights Out 1 on Oct. 13 in Grand Rapids, Mich., he tries to improve to 5-0. Before that, he spoke with FightBookMMA.
How did you find MMA to begin with?
I wrestled my whole life, and was always really competitive. I went to college to wrestle, but it didn’t play out like I wanted it to. It kind of left me with a sour taste in my mouth, so I had to do something different athletically. I felt it like I owed it to myself. Here I am now, still just trying to make it to the top.
How does it feel to be 4-0?
It’s dope, man, but I’m never really satisfied. Being an amateur doesn’t mean much to me. I don’t go into any fight looking down on my opponents, but I’m definitely not training to be the best amateur there is. I don’t want to be the best amateur; I want to be the best pro. I’ve got a hit list of pros I’m ready to call out when I get to the big stage and start doing big things. Until then, it’s just about training and getting more experience, so I’m ready to go when I turn pro, and go after it.
Do you know much about your opponent?
He’s a cool dude. I know he’s a Golden Gloves boxer, so he’s no joke on the feet. I’m not here to talk shit. I give credit where credit is due. He definitely deserves credit standing up. But I haven’t seen enough of him on the ground to give him credit there. There’s only one way he has a chance in this fight, and I don’t plan on giving him that opportunity.
What’s the most likely outcome?
He’s going to keep trying to stay in boxing range, but he’s not going to be able to keep me away forever. At some point, I’m going to hit him up close, and it’s going to turn into a fight. Whether I want to take him down and get the submission, or finish it with strikes on the ground, I’m going to get it. I’m not expecting an easy fight. I expect to get hit back, but I’m going to weather the storm and I’m going to carry out my game plan.
Where would you like to be one year from today?
One year from today, I expect to have yet to deal with a defeat. I see myself going pro around this time next year. The goal is to be 10-0 before pushing over. I want to push myself against better and better opponents, and take it as far as I can.