A women’s UFC fight in New York will go ahead after earlier reports it had been canceled due to one of the participants’ breast implants.
TMZ first reported on April 7, the day before UFC 210 in Buffalo, that the New York State Athletic Commission, had pulled Pearl Gonzalez, 30, from her bout with Cynthia Calvillo. The NYSACA’s rules say, “Due to the concern over rupture, boxers who have breast implants are not eligible to box in New York.” Gonzalez had been due to make her UFC debut in the fight. White said in a tweet, “STOP listening to web sites and whoever. If u don’t hear it from us it’s probably not true. THIS FIGHT IS ON!!!!” The NYSAC has confirmed the fight will go ahead saying, “The Commission has completed its review and has cleared Ms. Gonzalez to participate in UFC 210.” Later, the authorities elaborated saying that Gonzalez had never been pulled from the fight but that a review was taking place.
Speaking to the media after breast implant-gate appeared to be over, Gonzalez was quoted by MMA Junkie as saying, “I don’t think I wanted the world to know about my surgery and to be talked about like this. I have worked very hard to show how talented I am. I have a lot to bring to this division, and that’s what I would like to be known for. All media is good media, so I’m going to ride this wave, and if this makes my fight bigger and gets my name out there, I’m going to ride it. I’m going to win tomorrow night, and I’m going to show the world that not only do I have breast implants, but I am a talented fighter.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Gonzalez Had Earlier Said She Wanted Her Bout to Be a ‘Bloody Fight’
Prior to the breast implant controversy, Gonzalez had told MMA Junkie, “I would love a knockout. That would be fun. I’d also love, maybe, a couple of cuts – make it a bloody fight. That would be really fun, too.”
Gonzalez also explained about the circumstances leading to her debut saying, “We were training and getting ready for the debut, and then we got the call that we were going to be on (UFC 210). I was like, ‘All right.’ I was excited. Then they were like, ‘Main card.’ I was like, ‘What?!’ It took me a couple minutes to kind of process that, but I am so excited. I’m so grateful – I’m so blessed to be here.” Gonzalez added that she has been “preparing [for the fight] for the last four years. I’m so ready to be here.”
In a 2013 interview, Gonzalez spoke about her fighting style saying, “I like to stand and bang too, but I’m ready for any aspect of the fight, where ever it goes.” While UFC.com says that Gonzalez favored grappling technique is the armbar.
2. Gonzalez Says on her Twitter Bio That She’s ‘100% Organic’
According to Gonzalez’s Twitter page, she is “100% Organic.” She adds in her bio, “Success bound, never looking down, never looking Back.. Headed for the TOP!” While in her Facebook bio, Gonzalez writes, ” I eat superfoods, pizza and anything chocolate!” Gonzalez has listed her heroes as “Beyonce, Serena Williams, Ben Greenfield, GSP.”
Prior to becoming a professional fighter, Gonzalez told UFC.com that she was, “was working two, three jobs and raising my 15-year-old sister. I decided to go back to fighting at 21, I was working as a Vet Assistant, Brand Ambassador, jobs like being an extra for movies, commercials, print, etc.” On her official website, Gonzalez refers to herself as a “pro fighter, athlete, model, actress.”
3. Gonzalez Was Raised in the ‘Heavily Gang Populated Neighborhood of Chicago’
Gonzalez’s official bio says that she was raised in the “poverty ridden and heavily gang populated Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago.” After living with various relatives while her parents battled drug problems, Gonzalez wound up being raised by her father as a single parent. She told UFC.com, “My Dad was raising me as a single parent. He had to work a lot, and I started getting into trouble. So he found something for me to do after school. My first fight was a few months later. Pankration USA vs Canada.” The training began when Gonzalez was 11.
Gonzalez’s fighting history includes a winner of UFC competitor Cortney Casey in 2013. In doing so, Gonzalez became the XFC women’s strawweight champion. Gonzalez was a regular competitor in the XFC, Ring of Combat and XFO promotions.
4. Gonzalez’s Husband Is a Navy Officer
A 2016 profile on Gonzalez that was published in the Chicago Tribune says that she lives part-time in San Diego where her Navy officer husband, Javier Keyser, is based. While in an interview with UFC.com, Gonzalez joked about her training schedule saying, “In between training is similar except I might get some time with my hubby if his ship is shoreside.”
Keyser wrote on his Facebook page during the confusion over Gonzalez’s fight, “We’re pushing ahead. Working on the rehydrate. Pearl is doing really well. We’ll be planning to fight tomorrow!” The couple was married in May 2013 in Imperial Beach, California. In 2016, Keyser sang the U.S. National anthem on board the USS San Diego.
5. Female MMA Fighters With Breast Implants Have Fought in New York City Previously
MMA Fighting reports that female MMA fighters with breast implants have competed in New York before. In 2013, it was widely reported that Louisiana had enacted an emergency ban on breast implants in combat sports. The law required fighters to get expressed written permission to fighter.