After a career of high’s and low’s, Gabriel Gonzaga is set to return at UFC on FX: 7 Saturday Jan 19, 2013
On November 19, 2005 at UFC 56, Gabriel Gonzaga made his UFC debut with a KO win via superman punch against Kevin Jordan. Gonzaga then went on to defeat Fabiano Schemer at UFC 60 via TKO, and then at UFC 66 he won via submission against Carmelo Marrero. With three impressive wins all by finishes it set Gonzaga up for a Heavyweight #1 contender fight with Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic. At UFC 70 Gabriel Gonzaga defeated Cro Cop with one of the nastiest head kicks ever in the UFC earning himself “KO of the night,” and “KO of the year” award.
At UFC 74 Gonzaga faced off against the legend Randy Couture for the UFC heavyweight championship. Couture defeated Gonzaga via TKO (punches) in a very exciting fight and both fighters’ earned “Fight of the night” bonuses for the fight. Gonzaga then went on to win a few and lose a few never really regaining the elite form he showed when he first joined the UFC.
At UFC 121 Gabriel Gonzaga lost a unanimous decision to the younger and more athletic Brendan Schaub. This was the first professional MMA fight that went the distance for Gonzaga and the loss brought his record down to 11-6 MMA. After the fight Gonzaga was released by the UFC and was thought to be the end of his UFC career. After he was released Gonzaga said on twitter that he would only be competing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu but that didn’t last long.
Gonzaga fought on October 8, 2011 against Parker Porter for Reality Fighting and won via submission (arm triangle choke). This win was for the Reality Fighting heavyweight championship but Gonzaga never got to defend his title in that organization. It was announced that Gabriel Gonzaga signed a new four-fight contract with the UFC and he returned to action against Ednaldo Oliveira at UFC 142 replacing injured Rob Broughton.
UFC 142 took place in Gonzaga’s hometown of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and Gonzaga made short work of Oliveira defeating him via submission (rear naked choke). This win put Gonzaga back on track and ready for one last run at the UFC heavyweight championship. Gonzaga was set to fight again last year on a few occasions but 2012 wasn’t to kind to him. Injuries to his opponents or to himself and because of injuries to other fighters and cards getting shuffled around put Gonzaga on the shelf since January 14, 2012.
Now set to step into the octagon once again on January 19, 2013 against Ben Rothwell at UFC on FX: Bisping vs. Belfort. It’s almost exactly a year since his last fight; it’s once again in his homeland of Brazil and it’s the perfect setting for the one time heavyweight title contender to show he has another run in him. Gonzaga has elite ground skills, great feet and hands, and all the motivation he needs to show he still is one of the best heavyweights in the world.