MANILA, Philippines—Ramon Gonzales’ latest fight in ONE Championship didn’t go as planned as he suffered a first round submission loss to Eko Roni Saputra in the promotion’s Inside the Matrix II card.
As a fighter, Gonzales already knew how to cope with the loss but the events that happened outside the cage that took the spirit out of the flyweight contender.
Gonzales watched in horror after he read every article and watched each news report on how super typhoon “Rolly” devastated Bicol region including his hometown of Polangui, Albay.
“My grandmother is there and part of the roof of her house was blown away and I watched on the news the devastating effects of the typhoon,” said Gonzales in Filipino in a Zoom conversation with Inquirer Tuesday.
“After the fight, I cried upon seeing the destruction in our town and that really affected me. I was alone in my room because of quarantine protocols but all I could think of was flying back to the Philippines.”
Gonzales fought in ONE Championship’s fourth Singapore card with the promotion setting up a bubble environment, thus giving each fighter their own room.
Seeing the destruction in his hometown, Gonzales wanted to badly go home. This Wednesday, he plans to travel to Albay via motorcycle along with his friends.
“I want to go to my grandmother immediately because she’s sick and she needs assistance when she has to move around,” said Gonzales. “Fortunately they’re safe and are staying with our relatives.”
He added that although he can cope with losing, a defeat meant smaller prize money–thus limiting him to how much he can donate to the survivors of “Rolly.”
“I think the loss hurt more because I earned less than what I’ve wanted to and I couldn’t help as many people as I can,” said Gonzales, who has since setup a donation drive. “So I thought of a way where others can also help because I can’t do it alone.”