Meet the UFC's Newest Strawweight: Pearl Gonzalez

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Business in the UFC strawweight division has just picked up with the official arrival of Pearl Gonzalez.

The gritty Chicago native has been tearing up smaller stages for the past five years, and her consistent success earned a call from the premier promotion in mixed martial arts. Gonzales confirmed her signing to FloCombat on Saturday afternoon, and gave her thoughts on the exciting road she has ahead of her in the crowded 115-pound ranks.

"Coming from the hood in Chicago fighting my way to the UFC strawweight division...fighting has saved my life," Gonzalez told FloCombat. "I look forward to earning the respect and title of the being one of the best fighters in the world."

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Gonzalez will enter the UFC having won all but one of her seven professional bouts. The 30-year-old Illinois native lost her professional debut under the Ring of Combat banner back in 2012, then proceeded to notch six straight victories in a run that spanned several notable promotions.

The most high profile victory on her record to date came in a bout against Cortney Casey in a fight where she submitted the UFC veteran to become the XFC women's strawweight champion.

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And while Gonzalez will be a new face in the strawweight fold, she's far from rookie status in the world of combat sports. The Midwest Training Center alum fought her first Pankration fight at the age of 11, and garnered acclaim on the Golden Gloves circuit as a boxer. Gonzalez also won five titles during her time as an amateur, and has only furthered that momentum over the past five years.

There has yet to be an official opponent named for Gonzalez's official UFC debut, but there's no doubt plenty of eyes will be captured when it happens.

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