Gabriel Gonzaga (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɡabɾiˈew ɡõˈzaɡɐ]; born 18 May 1979) is a Brazilian professional boxer and mixed martial artist, who competed in the Heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He is perhaps best known for his upset head-kick knockout of Mirko Cro Cop at UFC 70, which earned him a heavyweight title shot. Gonzaga won a gold medal in the Ultra Heavyweight division at the 2006 Mundials, which is considered to be the top BJJ competition in the world. Gonzaga's nickname "Napão" means "big nose" in Portuguese.
|Born||18 May 1979|
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
|Other names||Napão (IPA: [naˈpɐ̃w̃])|
|Residence||Ludlow, Massachusetts, United States|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Weight||263.6 lb (120 kg; 18 st 12 lb)|
|Reach||76.0 in (193 cm)|
|Style||Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing|
|Fighting out of||Worcester, Massachusetts, United States|
|Team||Squared BJJ, Team Link |
Chute Boxe Academy (formerly)
|Rank||4th degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Wander Braga|
|Years active||2003–2016, 2018–present (MMA) |
|Professional boxing record|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
|World Jiu-Jitsu Championship|
|ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship|
|Brazilian National Jiu-Jitsu Championship|
Gonzaga was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and began training in judo when he was 14 years old. before later transitioning to Brazilian jiu-jitsu, under the tutelage of Wander Braga. Gonzaga would go on to achieve many accomplishments in the sport before transitioning into a career in MMA.
Mixed martial arts careerEdit
Gonzaga made his professional MMA debut on 4 April 2003 in Santos, Brazil against Cicero Costa, winning via submission due to punches in the first round. He went on to compile a 4-1 professional record with his only loss coming via TKO to Fabrício Werdum.
Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit
He made his UFC debut at UFC 56, knocking out Kevin Jordan with a superman punch at 4:39 of the third round. However, weeks before the fight, his pregnant wife started having complications with her pregnancy and lost one of the twins she was carrying. Gonzaga's obligations to his wife during her high risk pregnancy left him unable to train properly.
At UFC 70, Gonzaga knocked out Mirko Cro Cop with a head kick, Cro Cop's own signature move. With the win, Gonzaga became the next contender for UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture. The knockout was the consensus Knockout of the Year for 2007.
Gonzaga also fought at UFC 86 against Justin McCully. Early in the first round, McCully fell to the ground due to a powerful leg kick from Gonzaga. Gonzaga took to McCully's half guard, quickly passing to the mount position and winning by first round submission with an americana from the mount.
At UFC 91 Gonzaga knocked out UFC newcomer Josh Hendricks with a right hand at 1:01 of the first round.
Gonzaga then faced undefeated Heavyweight prospect Shane Carwin at UFC 96. In the first 30 seconds of the fight, Gonzaga caught Carwin with an uppercut and two left hooks, breaking his nose. Gonzaga took the fight to the floor, but Carwin quickly fought back to his feet. Against the fence, Carwin pushed Gonzaga away and threw an overhand right that knocked Gonzaga out. The referee called the match at 69 seconds of round one, handing Gonzaga his fourth career loss.
At UFC 102 Gonzaga defeated Chris Tuchscherer via TKO at 2:27 of the first round. The fight, however, was controversial, as Gonzaga landed an illegal low blow that hurt Tuchsherer very badly. While Tuchsherer was able to continue after taking a full five-minute rest, Gonzaga landed a powerful head kick and continued to dominate the rest of the fight, eventually finishing via strikes.
Gonzaga was defeated by Brendan Schaub on 23 October 2010 at UFC 121 by unanimous decision. All three judges scored the fight 30–27 after Gonzaga was out-struck throughout all three rounds by Schaub. This was also the first bout in Gonzaga's professional career to go the distance.
Following the loss to Schaub, Gonzaga was released from the promotion.
After being released by the UFC, Gonzaga stated that he would only compete in Brazilian jiu-jitsu but expressed interest in returning to MMA. Gonzaga returned to action against Reality Fighting Heavyweight Champion Parker Porter. Gonzaga fought Porter on 8 October where he submitted him with an arm-triangle choke in the third round, winning the Reality Fighting Heavyweight Championship.
Return to the UFCEdit
It was announced that Gonzaga signed a new, four-fight contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship on 16 December 2011. In his return bout, he faced Ednaldo Oliveira at UFC 142, replacing an injured Rob Broughton. Gonzaga won the fight via submission in the first round.
Gabriel Gonzaga was expected to face Shane del Rosario at UFC 146 on 26 May 2012. Gabriel was pulled from the bout against Shane Del Rosario to replace Antônio Silva against Roy Nelson, after Silva was switched to meet Cain Velasquez. Gonzaga later was forced out of the bout against Roy Nelson because of an injury, being replaced by Dave Herman.
Gonzaga was expected to face promotional newcomer and fellow Brazilian Geronimo dos Santos on 13 October 2012 at UFC 153 but dos Santos dropped off the card for an undisclosed reason. As no replacement was scheduled, Gonzaga was also removed from the card.
Gonzaga faced returning veteran Mirko Cro Cop in a rematch on 11 April 2015 at UFC Fight Night 64. After arguably winning the first two rounds, Gonzaga was finished by TKO in the third round after a flurry of elbows and punches. Gonzaga later stated that he wasn't ready for all 5 rounds, and that he was surprised by Cro Cop's strength and improved elbows. The bout earned both men Fight of the Night bonus honors.
Gonzaga was expected to face Ruslan Magomedov on 10 April 2016 at UFC Fight Night 86. However, Magomedov was forced out of the bout in early March due to injury and replaced by Derrick Lewis. Gonzaga lost the fight via KO in the first round.
On 30 September 2016 it was announced that Gonzaga will be retiring from the sport unless offered a 6-figure contract from the UFC.
Professional boxing careerEdit
On 14 September 2017, it was announced that Gonzaga would be making his pro boxing debut for the Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE) boxing promotion on 26 October against a to be determined opponent.
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ADCC Submission Wrestling Championships
Record of opponents:
- Won: Mustapha al-Turk (pts), Ricco Rodriguez (pts), Marcio Cruz (pts), Eduardo Telles (pts)
- Lost: Jeff Monson (pts), Xande Ribeiro (sub)
2006 Winner CBJJO Copa Do Mundo Black Belt Pesadissimo Winner CBJJ Mundials Black Belt Pesadissimo
2005 2nd CBJJO Copa Do Mundo Black Belt Pesadissimo 3rd CBJJO Copa Do Mundo Black Belt Absolute 2nd place ADCC +99 kg
2003 2nd CBJJO Copa Do Mundo Black Belt Pesadissimo 2nd CBJJO Copa Do Mundo Black Belt Absolute
2000 3rd Mundials black belt Super-Pesado
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
Mixed martial artsEdit
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- FIGHT! Magazine
- Fight Matrix
- Most Lopsided Upset of the Year (2007)
- Inside Fights
- Reality Fighting
- Reality Fighting Heavyweight Championship (One time)
Mixed martial arts recordEdit
|Professional record breakdown|
|29 matches||17 wins||12 losses|
|Loss||17–12||Alexander Emelianenko||TKO (punches and knees)||RCC: Russian Cagefighting Championship 2||5 May 2018||2||3:43||Yekaterinburg, Russia|
|Loss||17–11||Derrick Lewis||KO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Rothwell vs. dos Santos||10 April 2016||1||4:48||Zagreb, Croatia|
|Win||17–10||Konstantin Erokhin||Decision (unanimous)||The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs. Team Faber Finale||11 December 2015||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||16–10||Mirko Cro Cop||TKO (elbows and punches)||UFC Fight Night: Gonzaga vs. Cro Cop 2||11 April 2015||3||3:30||Kraków, Poland||Fight of the Night.|
|Loss||16–9||Matt Mitrione||TKO (punches)||UFC on Fox: dos Santos vs. Miocic||13 December 2014||1||1:59||Phoenix, Arizona, United States|
|Loss||16–8||Stipe Miocic||Decision (unanimous)||UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Thomson||25 January 2014||3||5:00||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Win||16–7||Shawn Jordan||KO (punches)||UFC 166||19 October 2013||1||1:33||Houston, Texas, United States|
|Win||15–7||Dave Herman||KO (punches)||UFC 162||6 July 2013||1||0:17||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||14–7||Travis Browne||KO (elbows)||The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen Finale||13 April 2013||1||1:11||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||14–6||Ben Rothwell||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping||19 January 2013||2||1:01||São Paulo, Brazil|
|Win||13–6||Ednaldo Oliveira||Submission (rear-naked choke)||UFC 142||14 January 2012||1||3:22||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Win||12–6||Parker Porter||Submission (arm-triangle choke)||Reality Fighting: Gonzaga vs. Porter||8 October 2011||3||1:50||Uncasville, Connecticut, United States||Won the Reality Fighting Heavyweight Championship.|
|Loss||11–6||Brendan Schaub||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 121||23 October 2010||3||5:00||Anaheim, California, United States|
|Loss||11–5||Junior dos Santos||KO (punches)||UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones||21 March 2010||1||3:53||Broomfield, Colorado, United States|
|Win||11–4||Chris Tuchscherer||TKO (punches)||UFC 102||29 August 2009||1||2:27||Portland, Oregon, United States|
|Loss||10–4||Shane Carwin||KO (punch)||UFC 96||7 March 2009||1||1:09||Columbus, Ohio, United States|
|Win||10–3||Josh Hendricks||KO (punches)||UFC 91||15 November 2008||1||1:01||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||9–3||Justin McCully||Submission (americana)||UFC 86||5 July 2008||1||1:57||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||8–3||Fabrício Werdum||TKO (punches)||UFC 80||19 January 2008||2||4:34||Newcastle upon Tyne, England|
|Loss||8–2||Randy Couture||TKO (punches)||UFC 74||25 August 2007||3||1:37||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||For the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Fight of the Night.|
|Win||8–1||Mirko Cro Cop||KO (head kick)||UFC 70||21 April 2007||1||4:51||Manchester, England||UFC Heavyweight title eliminator. Knockout of the Night.|
|Win||7–1||Carmelo Marrero||Submission (armbar)||UFC 66||30 December 2006||1||3:22||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||6–1||Fabiano Scherner||TKO (punches)||UFC 60||27 May 2006||2||0:24||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Win||5–1||Kevin Jordan||KO (superman punch)||UFC 56||19 November 2005||3||4:39||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||4–1||Walter Farias||Submission (neck crank)||Shooto Brazil: Never Shake||23 October 2004||2||N/A||São Paulo, Brazil|
|Win||3–1||Charlie Brown||TKO (retirement)||Jungle Fight 2||15 May 2004||3||N/A||Manaus, Brazil|
|Loss||2–1||Fabrício Werdum||TKO (punches)||Jungle Fight 1||13 September 2003||3||2:11||Manaus, Brazil|
|Win||2–0||Branden Lee Hinkle||Submission (triangle choke)||Meca 9: Meca World Vale Tudo 9||1 August 2003||1||3:54||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Win||1–0||Cicero Costa||Submission (punches)||Brazilian Gladiators 2||2 April 2003||1||N/A||São Paulo, Brazil|
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