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.
read full article...
Related MMA gear from the UG Store