Gabriel Gonzaga looking to add a little excitement to his game

by Andy Samuelson | source: lasvegassun.com
 

Gabriel Gonzaga’s most famous UFC moment came when his stunning high kick knocked out Mirko "Crocop" Filipovic in the first round of their bout at UFC 70.

While a lot has changed for the 30-year-old Brazilian since that April night in 2007 in Manchester, England, Gonzaga believes he’s got plenty of big moments left in him and hopes to show off the first one against Chris Tuchscherer Saturday night at UFC 102 in Portland, Ore.

“I think to get back to the top you just got to go out there and train hard and hope to score a couple of exciting knockouts or submissions that brings you attention,” said Gonzaga, who brings a 10–4 mixed martial arts record into his bout at the Rose Garden Arena.

After suffering back-to-back TKOs in the aftermath of his exciting win over "Crocop," Gonzaga climbed back up the heavyweight ranks with a submission win over Justin McCully at UFC 86 and a knockout of Josh Hendricks at UFC 91.

Gonzaga was challenging Shane Carwin for top contender status at UFC 96 in March and looked pretty good for the first minute before Carwin caught him with a big right.

“With us big guys and such small gloves, one blow can change it all, and that’s exactly what happened,” Gonzaga said. “It was a tough loss to take, because I started off doing so well. But he’s an awesome fighter and he landed a huge punch.”

To try to avoid the second two-loss setback streak of his career and to improve his wrestling skills for Tuchscherer, a two-time NCAA Division II All-American, Gonzaga enlisted the help of the man who beat him the first time he got his heavyweight title shot in Randy Couture.

“I tried to look for a wrestling-based training camp with some good heavyweights, so naturally Randy Couture’s was the first to come to mind,” said Gonzaga, who lost to Couture at UFC 74 in August 2007.

“I spoke with him and asked if it was OK for me to come, and of course he opened the doors for me.”

While some fighters or fans may think it would be hard to train with a former foe, Gonzaga, who lives in Ludlow, Mass., said the hardest part of training in Las Vegas was the weather.

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tags: Gabriel Gonzaga (detail)  UFC 102   



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Recent Comments »

The Messiah site profile image  

8/26/09 11:34 AM by The Messiah

Might as well titled it "Gonzaga trying to keep his job"I don't mind watching him though cept when he wilts that annoys me.Plus he comes out to Danzig - Mother!

solidsnake site profile image  

8/26/09 10:35 AM by solidsnake

Yeah, in this case, I don't think Gonzaga will get caught like he did against Carwin, who has bowling balls for hands.

Wontsubmit site profile image  

8/26/09 10:00 AM by Wontsubmit

 I would not be suprised if that was his plan either, I just dont think it will work. Tuchscherer has pretty weak stand up though and im guessing Gabe will try to knock him out with a head kick and ending up on his back with Tuchscherers lunch boxes in his face. I hope the outcome is Tuchscherer TKO round 2 or 3.

NoPlacebo site profile image  

8/26/09 9:59 AM by NoPlacebo

Gonzaga has a lot of power, great BJJ and is a big, strong, relatively fast heavyweight. None of this matters when his heart is so small. He knocked Werdum down like half a dozen times with leg kicks and still managed to fold in that fight.

tjmitchiscool site profile image  

8/26/09 9:55 AM by tjmitchiscool

That analogy is actually not accurate at all. lol gonzaga has pretty solid wrestling himself, he did take both carwin and marrero down. I wont be surprised if he took Tuchscherer down and finished the fight from there.

Man in black site profile image  

8/26/09 9:35 AM by Man in black

Great move!

Wontsubmit site profile image  

8/26/09 9:28 AM by Wontsubmit

 training with Randy trying to beat Tuchscherers wrestling for 2 months would be like Tuchscherer training with Renzo for 2 months trying to beat Gonzagas BJJ. It wont work. It will be a battle of Gonzagas stand up and BJJ against Tuchscherers ground and pound. Cant wait to see who wins.

GaymidaGaydan site profile image  

8/26/09 9:14 AM by GaymidaGaydan

I think randy helping him is just what he needs. He usually trains in rhode island or something with nobody to challenge him

Jeepster site profile image  

8/26/09 9:07 AM by Jeepster

One of his advantages was that he was a big athletic HW. Not so much anymore, looking at the field that has been nullified. He will be a good test for upper level fighters looking to fight for the title

ChangoBravo site profile image  

8/26/09 8:59 AM by ChangoBravo

I realize that he just fought for a title. I should have been more clear. I don't think he will be in title contention AGAIN.The deep end has just gotten to deep. With Brock looking very tough, Carwin, Velasquez, Big Nog, Randy, and Mir(rematch) all hovering around the title shot and Kongo and CroCop lurking in the wings, It may be a very long road for Gabe.Chango