Alejandro Gordillo, a Colombian Fighter Who Knocks out Difficulties and Rivals

To make your way in the world of mixed martial arts, you have to first knock out the difficulties and then the opponents, said Alejandro Gordillo, the first promise of a new generation of Colombian fighters flirting with success in this contact sport.

Alejandro Gordillo

12/27/2023.- Alejandro Gordillo from Colombia poses in training, on December 22, 2023, in Bogotá (Colombia). EFE/ Carlos Durán Araújo


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Leer en español: Alejandro Gordillo, un peleador colombiano que noquea dificultades y rivales

Gordillo, born 28 years ago in Bogotá, divides his time between training, his duties as a father to a minor, and directing a taekwondo school he founded seven years ago in Funza, a municipality located 13 kilometers from the Colombian capital.

In summary, whether inside or outside the cage, the featherweight leads a hectic life, typical of a professional fighter.

With a swollen eye still showing the consequences of his last fight on December 3 against Venezuelan Jhony Becerra, Gordillo engages in an exchange of questions with EFE.

Having won the last five fights before the end of the first half is not enough for him. He knows that the next step will be more challenging, like an ambush.

Freddy 'el Profe' Serrano, a pioneer of Colombian fighters, who with unwavering desire and talent but without much financial support, began paving the way in 2013, can attest to that.

A decade later, Gordillo feels the changing perspective of an audience that is increasingly interested in this type of combat. There is still a long way to go, but today he relies on better technical work and resources from companies that are starting to believe in this sport.

When losing is like winning a bit

"I've been practicing martial arts for 16, 17 years. When I was 12, I started training in taekwondo, where I earned my black belt," he recalled.

Coincidentally or not, setbacks and disappointments have been like gasoline for the engine that drives Gordillo's life.

At the age of 13, he had his first taekwondo fight. And he lost it.

"I understood that there are two types of people: those who say that this is not for them, and those who get motivated. That was my case. I admitted that I got hit, but I was very new and wanted to go far," he concluded.

Later, when electronic chest protectors arrived in taekwondo, limiting physical contact between competitors, Gordillo's interest faded, but it led him to try other disciplines, such as kickboxing and karate. Shortly thereafter, his passion threw him headlong into the arms of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

And the cage became his habitat, the stage where fighters "from 18 to 40 or 45" measure themselves.

In MMA, techniques from karate, kickboxing, boxing, muay thai, judo, wrestling, Greco-Roman wrestling, jiu-jitsu, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, wushu, san da, sambo, taekwondo, and many more can be fused.

The communion between body and mind

Gordillo maintains an undefeated record that has lasted three years, with five fights ending in knockout before the five minutes of the first round.

"After the pandemic, I had a professional kickboxing fight that I won. Then I won by knockout in the first round in a brand called Match Maker, then another MMA fight, also by knockout in the first round, which made people notice that there was something, and I have become noticeable to people," he recounted with renewed excitement.

But every achievement comes at a cost

"We can come out very hurt. Usually, a doctor examines you and tells you if you can train in the next fifteen days if he prescribes a month of recovery if he keeps you out of the cage for six or seven months or even a year. It depends on how the fight ended and the damage your body has," he explained.

To the intense physical training, the Colombian has had to add careful mental preparation derived from the principles he learned with karate and taekwondo.

But not everything has been a victory for Gordillo, whose voice becomes emotional when talking about his family and the people who work with him.

As if the demands and challenges were not enough, Gordillo must look after a young son, his mother, and his brother. "Without them, it would be even more difficult," he emphasized.

Read also: Jeter Downs Joins Yankees: A New Chapter in Colombian MLB History 

Unlike 'el Profe' Serrano, who at 44 years old is dedicated to training fighters, Gordillo now enjoys the visibility that MMA has gained in the last three years.

"Mixed martial arts have had tremendous growth in the last three years. There are very important brands that are rising, and they are gaining massive acceptance," he explained.

"We went from fighting in a warehouse to fighting in giant coliseums," he said with hopeful excitement. But he wants more.

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