A New and rejuvenated Ricky “El Gallero” Palacios is making his comeback in Beaumont Texas at the Montagne Events Center, with Jeff Bonugli’s JC Productions “Texas Pride” MMA event on Saturday, September 28. Comeback? Yes, following some tough times in his life, some of them self made, what follows now is a comeback. He’ll be fighting a very tough Jose Ceja who is currently 1-0 as a pro MMA fighter and 1-0 as a pro boxer, which will make for a very interesting fight, considering that El Gallero favors stand up, and boxing in particular. While I am personally a friend to both of these boys, the odds stand in Ricky’s favor, but by no means should he be complacent. Jose will come to fight, and he comes undeterred by the stats, which show Ricky 6-0 as an amateur, 2-0 as a pro, and 1-0 as a boxer, all fights won by KO. In Jose’s favor is the fact that he can box. I’m partial to either of these boys. Expect a slug fest. I would be very surprised if either of these boys take the fight to the mat.
Ricky “El Gallero” Palacios loves to fight, not because he likes to hurt people, but because he wants to share his unique talent with the world. He’s worked extremely hard to build a solid fight record, he owns his own gym, has a large Valley fan base, and continues to push his way to the top. His amateur record stands at 6-0 and he concluded his amateur career after obtaining two titles. In his pro debut he won his fight by TKO stoppage putting him at an uptick of 1-0. His next opponent, Loroy Martinez, comes into this fight off of a decision loss but won his pro debut by TKO as well. Ricky intends on making a name for himself, not just in The Valley, but whenever he steps into the cage, ring, or mat… Enjoy the interview!
Tell us about what led you down the martial arts path and why you fight?
What led me to mixed martial arts was mainly my weight. I was close to 200 lbs, which is very large for my stature. I was determined to lose weight. I started out getting into street fights so I set a goal to lose weight and get a legit fight in the cage. It was part of my bucket list to get in there and after I fought and won my first fight, I made it a goal to become a champion!
What would you like to accomplish in your MMA career?
To be honest everyone wants to be a world champion but to me I see it as a goal like everyone else. The main thing is that I’ve done it so later in life when I’m older I won’t be haunted with the question, “What if?” or “I should have?” knowing that I tried something I wanted is an accomplishment in itself and not too many people get to do what they dream of doing. With that being said, I would like to give others the opportunity to do what they dream of. I’ve been blessed to be where I am at and with my own gym “El Galleros Den” now I can help others make their dreams come true. That’s what I’d love to accomplish!
As a pro MMA fighter and boxer, what else would you like to compete in? Which discipline are you most passionate about?
I’ve been working to be an all around fighter. I’ve been thinking about trying out kickboxing or Muay Thai just to see where I stand. I fell in love with boxing and I think I’m good at it. I’m not afraid to try other martial arts and compete. All I need need to do, or anyone for that matter, is to set a goal and have a positive mind set, and never give up.
What advise would you give to someone who’s currently struggling with obesity but wants to make a change like you did?
Now that’s a great question that I love to answering! I was close to 200lbs and now I walk around 148 lbs. I set a goal to lose 15 pounds but the main thing is your mind set and how dedicated you are to accomplishing that goal. I had no one to push me and I didn’t know anything about a diet or fat burning. I did everything naturally just worked out and the willingness to do it. No one was going to stop me no matter what! I set high expectations for myself even when it seemed impossible. I made it possible and that’s how it should be.
Who inspires you?
My inspiration is my spouse and children, They give me the drive to succeed. They have been my back bone since day one. I had a lot of financial problems when I first started training and they have always stuck with me. I was never alone when it came to motivation before or after a fight. Like I said, “make the impossible possible.” We use to sell chicken plates for gas money just to get to the northern cities in order to fight. The we’d come back broke again. The promoters didn’t really care if I was broke or not, they just wanted me to make a fight happen.
Tell us about your upcoming fight and your training regimen going into it.
My upcoming fight is against Leroy Martinez. My training is going great and I feel like I’ve got all the tools to come out victorious March 16! I see every fight as a championship fight and I never think I’m the best or that I’m going to walk through anyone. It’s a fight – anything can happen.
Your opponent Leroy, is there bad blood?
I really don’t take anything personal but I feel like he talks too much. I don’t know, maybe that’s how he pumps himself up but I could care less. I just see it like any other fight. He has said some stuff that shouldn’t have been said. Ido feel like he needs to work extremely hard to beat me. He says that he wants to knock me out or break my arm or something like that. I really don’t care. All I know is that he has a good training camp and I’m pumped because he should be at his best with no excuses. It should be a very entertaining fight. He may want to make it a jiu-jitsu match but I hope he worked on his stand up cuz I’m coming at him hard!
Anyone you’d like to thank, any shout outs?
I would like to thank GOD for my blessing with him anything is possible. My big brother Jeff Bonugli, my family, LX BJJ, Green Ghost Academy, all my sparring partners, Vitamin Shack and shake, H&B fitness, Charlie Clark Nissan, Phatboy racing, and all my sponsors, and fans. – Ricky Palacios – El Galleros Den
El Gallero’s Highlight Reel
Ricky “El Gallero” Palacios is no fluke, and he definitely loves to fight. He took up boxing ten months ago, and in a tough Rio Grande Valley, where there is no lack of tough fighters of Mexican descent, took the Valley’s Golden Gloves Championship in his weight class. “El Gallero” (Palacios) is a class fighter, and with a large following. Some hundred and fifty folks drove up from the Valley to see him fight in his Pro MMA debut, in his new role as “El Orgullo del Valle,” (“The Pride of the Valley”).
I was sitting ringside with Charlie Clark to watch Rickey take on an improved Gerardo Botello in this main event contest. The first round clearly went to Ricky, but it was obvious he was scoping out, and testing, his opponent. His buzz saw nature emerged in the second round, which he clearly dominated. I was impressed by his utter confidence. Palacios is exciting to watch; you quickly gather he enjoys what he’s doing, and he’s good at his game, controlling the ring and the fight, and handling his opponent seemingly with ease. He moves with fluid grace and power, like a cat, and although Botello appeared physically larger than Palacios, at no time was he able to control him. One understands Botello taking him to the mat; Ricky’s stand up game, between bobbing and weaving, is a flurry of devastating punches and damaging round house kicks. Nonetheless, when on the mat, Ricky employed alligator rolls at will, and in what ever position he found himself, he was fighting, punching, and from what should have been difficult angles, driving punishing knee strikes. He didn’t punch his opponent’s rib cage, he pummeled it, with such power that the impact could be loudly heard at ring side. As Bottello tried desperately to cover his ribs, it was obvious the pummeling was taking its toll. Prior to the fight Ricky had announced to his stand up fight coach and mentor, Jeff Bonugli, that he would end the fight by knockout or tap out. The fight was called as a TKO at 1:47 of the third round.
Nor does one seek to denigrate Gerardo Botello, a courageous scrapper. After all, his opponent was the best fighter in the house. While there was at least one other better than average fighter in the matches prior to the main event, (there was one, and inevitably there will be an exciting match up); he too would have fallen to Palacios. Bias? We shall see. Pound for pound, my money is on Palacios, for whom the sky is the limit. Yes, if I were to bet on any of the fighters in the arena bridging the gap between now, and a future in the UFC, my money would be on Ricky Palacios, “El Gallero.”