But that’s the thing. As stressful as a professional mixed martial arts fight is, for those in the heat of the battle, it can often be the only place to find peace for 15 minutes or less.
“I look at the beautiful things in life and I take with me the urgency of loving my family,” he said. “Coach (Marc Montoya) is very big on taking the right things into the cage with you, the right emotions. And all the negative things that I’m going through, I think of that as fuel.”
That fuel took Gutierrez through three rounds with a talented prospect expected to beat him and with that victory in his back pocket, the 28-year-old from Colorado can move forward, and in this case, forward is a trip to Montevideo, Uruguay to face Brazil’s Geraldo de Freitas on Saturday. For Gutierrez, it’s a nice break from the stresses of home, and a chance to get in touch with his roots as someone of Guatemalan and Colombian descent.
“I love it,” he said. “I feel like I’m going home. I have a sense of peace going in with me. I have two countries on my side. He’s got Brazil, I’ve got Guatemala and Colombia.”
Gutierrez also has his mind right, something that wasn’t always the case, especially in the days following his move to Colorado in the summer of 2017. Things were good on the fighting side as he linked up with the Factory X squad, but his personal life was falling apart as the custody battle with his ex-girlfriend began, leading to legal woes and even worse as he hit rock bottom one night and pondered suicide.