📅16 July 2015
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By Patrick Lujan

Guam’s Joe Gogo is going across the border for yet another battle this weekend.

After capturing the International Thai Boxing Organization (ITBO) MMA featherweight championship in Ensanada, Mexico last November, he’ll be in Tijuana this time to go for the IKKC Muay Thai North American lightweight title.

Gogo, who is a Muay Thai coach and personal trainer at the UFC Gym in Mission Valley, San Diego, said working at the gym has its obvious advantages in preparing for this fight.Joe Gogo

“Working at the UFC gym in Mission Valley has been a blessing. I’m able to use the facility to train hard and conduct a camp that focused on me a bit more,” Gogo said. “There is one person I owe a big thank you to. My fitness director Suzanne Silver has truly been a tremendous help. She is a former fighter and has worked in the fitness world for a long time. Suzanne played a big role in my conditioning as she got my speed back up by having me on a sprint program twice a week. Suzanne was basically my utility player: conditioning coach, held pads, and helped with drilling.”

Gogo, who is a first cousin of Bellator fighter Baby Joe Taimanglo, has been seriously training Muay Thai for four years and MMA for eight years, but looks to take the Muay Thai road for the time being.

“Depending on how things go I’ll have more Thai boxing fights lined up this year. I obviously haven’t shut the door on MMA, but I want to walk this journey for a while. With that said I’ll take an MMA fight on a dime like I’ve done before. I don’t train to only win fights, I train until my bones hurt to finish my opponents. Since I’ve started winning in amateurs and pros I’ve either knocked out or submitted my opponents.”

Different Camp

As far as focusing on just Muay Thai, the preparation had to change a bit leading up to the Tijuana fight.

“This camp was a bit different I put together a small team of Muay Thai fighters from Alliance MMA and guys that train at the UFC gym. We trained on a daily bases sparring, drilling, and finishing up with calisthenics. The coach that helped me for this camp was Jhanex, who heads the entire Muay Thai program at our sister UFC gym in sports arena. Jhanex and I worked twice a week doing pad work. It was grueling, as he didn’t give me rounds. We would just hit for 45minutes to an hour straight.

Joe Gogo“I still went down to Alliance to spar with top MMA fighters once a week, but began to limit that closer to my fight to get more specific training. Eventually, I put together a squad of fighters from there and the UFC gym to spar Muay Thai with twice a week.”

Gogo’s Shoutout

“I just want to shout my boys out that are fighting with me on this card. You fight individually, but proper preparation stems from a loyal team! I’ve made a new family in San Diego. Blood only makes you related, loyalty makes you family. The WCK mentioned that winning is obviously great, but more so just to put on a great show.  I’m truly blessed to have my family support me especially my Mom. Although she can’t stomach violence as the sport can be bloody at times, my mom goes out of her way to make sure I’m good to go. My family is my inspiration. We feed off of each other’s success. Our ability to work hard comes from the tough times we had to endure.”

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