Brenda Gonzales was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on March 24, 1982.
She grew up and graduated in Moriarty, NM. Brenda has always loved sports, that
has included basketball, volleyball, softball, baseball, and track.
Gonzales also enjoyed
working out in the weight room at a very young age.
When Gonzales was a Sophomore in High School, she missed the
basketball season due to being diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome
(WPW). [WPW is a condition characterized by abnormal electrical pathways
in the heart that cause disruption of the hearts normal rhythm. It causes
abnormally fast heart beats, which lead to dizziness, palpitations, shortness of
breath, and sometimes fainting.
Gonzales told WBAN, "after undergoing two ablations, they fixed it and I was
then back to being active."
When she was in her
Junior year, she had her
heart tested again, and in the same time frame as this, her father was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease).
[Average life expectancy for ALS
is 3-5 years.]
Told WBAN that she
watched her father go down hill very quickly as the disease took over his
nerves. A year after graduating she cared for her ill father as her
mother had one year left to retire.
On January 26, 2002, Gonzales got married, and within about five months she lost
her dad to the disease.
Gonzales said, "I
was definitely a Daddy's girl. I was lost and numb for awhile. I got a divorce a
few years later, moved away from my small town to try and get away from
everything. I was kind of all over the place, I would drown my sorrows in
alcohol. I then started working for the state and moved up the pay scale
quickly, but I knew there was something more for me out there. I remember
getting off work one day and getting a phone call from my mom. She said she had
some news for me---but to not get upset. She tells me she had just been
diagnosed with colon cancer. I thought how much more could my heart take, there
is no way I could lose another parent. I was able to make a couple chemo
treatments with her, but I stressed and made myself sick being away from her
everyday. With the help of surgery, chemo, radiation, and most important prayers
she has been in remission."
Brenda decided to move back home to be close to her family. "My family is very
close, and we don't take each other for granted. We never say good bye without
saying that we love them", added Gonzales.
In 2009, Gonzales ran into an old classmate, whom she later found out had a
crush on her since they were little kids, UFC Fighter Tim "The Dirty Bird"
Means. Tim had been involved in MMA since 2004.
"I always had an interest in boxing and/or fighting but never really knew too
many people involved or where to go train. I started dating Tim and he was
already training at FITNHB in Albuquerque. I walked in the gym one day with him
and I never left. I fell in love with the sport right away. It's also my
Brenda had three amateur boxing matches before turning pro.
Gonzales told WBAN, "I feel I got a late start, I was 27 when I started. My
stand-up coach Arlene Sanchez-Vaughn felt I was ready to turn pro."
On October 16, 2010, at the Santa Ana Star Casino, in Albuquerque, New Mexico,
on a Golden Girl Promotions Card, Gonzales fought Stephanie Maestas in a
four-rounder. Gonzales stopped Maestas in the first round by TKO.
The main event featured Melissa Hernandez vs. Lindsay Garbatt who were fighting
for the WBAN and WIBA world title belt.
In May of 2011, Gonzales made her MMA pro-debut, in which her boyfriend Tim was
main event on the same card. Brenda got her second professional TKO victory that
night (now 1-0 MMA).
have the best coaching staff anyone could have. I have my ground coach Tom
Vaughn (Arlene's husband), and my wrestling coach Jon Judy. I feel prepared
whether we are standing or we hit the ground." J
Then on June 4, 2011, Gonzales had her second pro fight when she faced
Bridgette Ruiz on Johnny Tapia's card. Gonzales won by a four-round unanimous
"It was an honor to fight on his card, and it was the last time Johnny fought in
the ring," said Gonzales.
Two months later Gonzales stepped back into the cage in Oklahoma for a King of
the Cage event against Trisha Clark. The fight ended in the 2nd round due to
TKO, with Gonzales coming out on top.
Gonzales would not fight again for another 14 months all due to injuries.
She said, " It was a
very frustrating time for me. I had to sit back and watch everyone else from the
sidelines. I felt I was going to go crazy at times, I trained everyday sometimes
twice a day to none at all for half the year. I feel it made me come back
"I stepped back into the cage October 2012 against KOTC's Jr. Flyweight
Champ Sarah Alpar. We fought 25 hard minutes for her title and I came out with
the unanimous decision. In December of 2012, I defended my title against Elsie Zwicker
and got a TKO victory with :01 left in the 2nd round, improving my MMA record to
Brenda then stepped back into the ring after 20 months. She faced a tough
Amanda Crespin in four-rounder.
Gonzales concluded, "It's been a fun fast paced few years
with my fights and my "now" fiancée's fights. We love what we do and we are both
chasing our dreams. It hasn't been easy financially but somehow, someway,
someone's been taking care of us!"
Gonzales is set to step back in the cage May
19, 2013 in Tokyo, Japan. "I'm excited and honored to get to go fight overseas,
I've always dreamed of being a professional athlete and now I'm getting to live
Friday, 06 November 2015