Slated to debut for Combate Americas in their recently produced show, Combate 11, the heat was turned up on Danny ‘The Realist’ Ramirez (6-2) when he and Erick ‘The Ghost Pepper’ Gonzalez (6-2) were pushed under the smoldering lights of the main event on February 16, 2017. Of course, Ramirez’s performance didn’t surprise anyone in Northern California—where he birthed his professional career—or his half of the crowd filling the Burbank Arena, but fight fans logged into UFC Fight Pass were treated to several truths about his attention-grabbing fighting style.
Fight of the Night = An Honest Night’s Work
Ramirez may not own a flawless record, but one hundred percent of his warrior spirit is displayed in five-minute segments.
The possibility of Ramirez receiving Fight of the Night (FOTN) honors is as certain as thunder following lightning. Before Combate Americas attempted to add Ramirez to their roster, he put a bow on 2016 when Global Knockout, at GKO 7, honored his contest with Chuck Seang as Fight of the Year. Following fifteen minutes with Gonzalez inside La Jaula, the pair were awarded FOTN and stuffed their pockets with an extra $2,000 dollars.
Many on Twitter agreed: the thrilling slugfest between Ramirez and Gonzalez to close Combate 11 deserved a bonus:
‘The Realist’ Plays Possum
For someone characterized as ‘The Realist,’ the strategy blueprinted by Ramirez’s teams, MMAGOLD and Saekson’s Muay Thai, banked on Gonzalez calling his bluff.
During the post-fight interview, after collecting a 29-28 scorecard from each of the judges, Ramirez admitted: his acting chops led to openings that would have otherwise remained locked and unavailable,
“That was my game plan, pretend to be tired, so he looks at me and tries things he’s not looking to try on me. That was my game plan the whole time; I continued with it and won the fight.”
When Ramirez capped the second half of his training camp in El Dorado Hills with his aurous cast of brothers and sisters, he headed back to the southern half of ‘The Golden State’ as fit as a fiddle. MMAGOLD’s Condition and Nutrition Coach, Doug Casebier, noted Ramirez’s fitness levels and mindset could flatten any walls obstructing the path on the way to his dreams, and Ramirez left for Combate 11 resembling a marble statue with cuts and grooves carved from the hands of Michelangelo:
@realistkiddo is one of those guys that when he's on and focused he is literally unstoppable. #allnaturalfighter #ufc #mma #invictafc #wrestling #jiujitsu #boxing #kickboxing #fight #marionreneau #cyborg #gym #boxing #knockout #sport #ko #motivation #workout #training #champion #muaythai #jiujitsu #fit #fbf #fitness #strong #karate #muhammadali #andstill #MMAGOLD
Last condition and nutrition day with @realistkiddo before heads back to LA to finish his camp. Love you my brother. #allnaturalfighter #ufc #mma #invictafc #wrestling #jiujitsu #boxing #kickboxing #fight #marionreneau #cyborg #gym #boxing #knockout #sport #ko #motivation #workout #training #champion #muaythai #jiujitsu #fit #fbf #fitness #strong #karate #muhammadali #andstill #MMAGOLD
Julio Trana, Ramirez’s Head Coach at Saekson’s Muay Thai, commented on his athlete’s preparedness to reach the lightweight limit and showcase an iron will for all three rounds at the start of fight week,
By closely examining Ramirez’s claims leading in to Combate 11 and pairing it with his reputation of fighting with a full tank of gas, arched eyebrows and questioning shrugs pixelated in the second frame when the tattooed chest of Ramirez heaved and both hands fell into his pockets. Fortunately, it was all a ruse, and his next opponent, along with any other 155-pounders from here on out, must brace for a FOTN, except they won’t be able to differentiate the fact or fiction in the attack of ‘The Realist.’
He’s True to His Words
While Ramirez was stationed with MMAGOLD, he visited the team’s podcast (link here) to highlight: his experience will freeze ‘The Ghost Pepper’ in his tracks. He argued,
“My opponent, he might think he’s ready, but he’s not ready like me. He’s never fought anyone like me; let’s be honest.”
By presenting Gonzalez with a bell pepper at Combate 11’s weigh-ins, Ramirez’s realia symbolized: the spicy nature of Gonzalez’s four-fight streak would be tossed into an ice bath twenty-four hours later:
Once the bell rang, a perfect blend of brutal leg kicks and powerful takedowns proved effective in allowing Ramirez to dictate the direction of action:
Combate 11 was the first of many for Ramirez under the prominent blue shield of Combate Americas; moreover Ramirez released a heartfelt message to everyone involved in his success before exiting the cage,
“I’m not leaving this. I’ve got a great support group: my coaches, my team, my family and friends. I wouldn’t be here without you guys. I’m going to be here as long as I can be. Thank you Combate Americas.”