"When I was getting warm, I was actually thinking about when I was younger," he said. "I've been wanting to do this for a while and I've worked really hard and sacrificed a lot of stuff. I was actually thinking about how when I was younger and I would imagine what it would feel like to be at my first pro fight. It was a pretty cool moment, almost like I was having a flashback or something to when I was 16 and wondering what it would be like."
When it came time to walk out to the octagonal cage, Gutierrez's intro music of "Donald Trump" by Mac Miller pulsed over the loudspeaker. In that moment, he said the rest of the world went quite and his focus shifted exclusively to the task at hand. He said he barely noticed the sizable Convention Center crowd.
"Once you walk out there, you really don't pay attention to things," he said. "Your music comes on and you're just focused on the fight. I was pretty pumped up. It was a pretty cool moment."
With his coach, Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Travis Lutter, in his corner, Gutierrez was ready for the most important fight of his life.
The bell rang. Round one.
Gutierrez landed a few solid punches right off the bat, but quickly discovered that Chau would not go down easily. A predominantly Chau-backing crowd erupted when he took Gutierrez down and got in a few good elbows and punches before Gutierrez found a way to reverse out.
"When he took me down, I was thinking, 'Ok, I need to do something,'" Gutierrez said. "I wasn't really worried, but at the same time I had an urgency to me. I couldn't just sit there and keep getting hit, I had to do something. But I just stayed calm and just worked my way up."