"From there, we just went and looked for some gyms and we found one that was good and I fell in love with it."
Under the tutelage of UFC veteran Travis Lutter, Gutierrez has flourished at the Team Lutter gym in Fort Worth. Building on a foundation of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the 5-foot-8, 145-pound flyweight has developed into a well-rounded fighter who has ridden a 4-1 record on the amateur circuit to his first chance to get paid to do what he loves.
"I feel like he's prepared for this," Gutierrez's father and manager Johnny said. "He's certainly earned it. We haven't ducked anybody. He's fought really high-caliber opponents and I certainly feel like he's more than ready to make this jump as a professional fighter."
In his first professional bout, Gutierrez will face Phat Chau – a flyweight Gutierrez was scheduled to fight in the past before the match fell through at the last minute. Outside of their near run-in tow to three years ago, Gutierrez said he isn't too familiar with his opponent. However, he added he is confident he can win his big league debut.
"I've seen one of his fights," he said. "He seemed pretty good. He seems pretty quick, but I'll have the range and height on him. If it does go to the ground, I feel confident I'll beat him there. I think it's a good matchup. I'm just getting ready and working on me."
Playing in such a physical sport like MMA, injuries are always a concern, particularly when stepping up to a professional level of competition. But the Gutierrez men say that the fear of serious injury has never been something that's held them back from allowing Isaiah to achieve his dreams.