Gabriel Gonzaga

Gabriel Gonzaga Santos Nogueira[1] (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɡabɾiˈew ɡõˈzaɡɐ]; born 18 May 1979) is a Brazilian 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.[9]

Gabriel Gonzaga
BornGabriel Gonzaga Santos Nogueira[1]
(1979-05-18) 18 May 1979 (age 42)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Other namesNapão (IPA: [naˈpɐ̃w̃])
ResidenceLudlow, Massachusetts, United States
Height6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight264 lb (120 kg; 18 st 12 lb)
Reach76 in (190 cm)[2]
StyleBrazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing
Fighting out ofWorcester, Massachusetts, United States
TeamSquared BJJ, Team Link
Chute Boxe Academy (formerly)
Rank4th degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu[3] under Wander Braga[4]
Years active2003–2016, 2018–present (MMA)
2017–present (Boxing)
Professional boxing record
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout9
By submission7
By decision1
By knockout10
By decision2
Other information
Boxing record from BoxRec
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Medal record
Gabriel Gonzaga
Medal record
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Masters World Jiu-Jitsu Championship
Gold medal – first place 2019 Ultra-Heavyweight (black)[1]
World Jiu-Jitsu Championship
Gold medal – first place 2006 Ultra-Heavyweight (black)[5]
Bronze medal – third place 2002 Absolute (black)[6]
ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship
Silver medal – second place 2005 +99kg[7]
Brazilian National Jiu-Jitsu Championship
Bronze medal – third place 1999 Super-Heavy (black)[8]


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.[4] Gonzaga would go on to achieve many accomplishments in the sport before transitioning into a career in MMA.[10]

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

Early 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.[11]

Gonzaga would later return at UFC 60 with a win over Fabiano Scherner via TKO in the second round. At UFC 66 he would defeat Carmelo Marrero in the first round by armbar.

At UFC 70, Gonzaga knocked out Mirko Cro Cop with a head kick, Cro Cop's own signature move. With the win, Gonzaga was granted a title shot against UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture. The knockout was the consensus Knockout of the Year for 2007.

Gonzaga faced Randy Couture for the UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 74. He lost the fight via TKO due to punches from the mount at the 1:37 mark of the third round.

Gonzaga returned to the Octagon to face the only man that had beaten him prior to the Couture fight, Fabrício Werdum, at UFC 80, losing once again via TKO in the second round.[12]

Gonzaga faced Justin McCully at UFC 86. 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.[13]

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.

Gonzaga with fan

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 the fight via strikes.

Gonzaga was set to fight Junior dos Santos at UFC 108; however, it was reported that he had pulled out of the fight due to a staph infection.[14]

The fight between Gonzaga and dos Santos eventually took place on 21 March 2010 at UFC LIVE: Vera vs. Jones, with Gonzaga losing via knockout in the first round.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17]

Post UFCEdit

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.[18][19] 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.[20][21]

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.[22] 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.[23] 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.[24] Gonzaga later was forced out of the bout against Roy Nelson because of an injury, being replaced by Dave Herman.[25]

Gonzaga was expected to face promotional newcomer and fellow Brazilian Geronimo dos Santos on 13 October 2012 at UFC 153[26] 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 Ben Rothwell on 19 January 2013 at UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping[27] He won the fight via submission in the second round.

Gonzaga lost via first-round knockout to Travis Browne on 13 April 2013 at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale.[28]

Gonzaga faced Dave Herman on 6 July 2013 at UFC 162, replacing Shane del Rosario who had to withdraw from the bout due to an injury.[29] Gonzaga won via KO 17 seconds into the first round.

Gonzaga next faced Shawn Jordan on 19 October 2013 at UFC 166.[30] He won the fight via knockout at 1:13 of round one. This was Gonzaga's second consecutive first-round knockout.

Gonzaga faced Stipe Miocic on 25 January 2014 at UFC on Fox 10.[31] He lost the fight via unanimous decision. Post-fight, Gonzaga stated online that he broke his hand in the first round.

Gonzaga faced Matt Mitrione on 13 December 2014 at UFC on Fox 13.[32] He lost the bout in the first round via TKO.

Gonzaga faced returning veteran Mirko Cro Cop in a rematch on 11 April 2015 at UFC Fight Night 64.[33] After dominantly winning the first two rounds and being up 20–17 on the scorecards, Gonzaga was finished by TKO in the third round after a surprise flurry of elbows and punches managed to hurt him and turn the fight around in an instant. 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.[34][35] The bout earned both men Fight of the Night bonus honors.[36]

Gonzaga faced Konstantin Erokhin on 11 December 2015 at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale.[37] He won the fight by unanimous decision (30–27, 30–27, and 30–28).[38]

Gonzaga was expected to face Ruslan Magomedov on 10 April 2016 at UFC Fight Night 86.[39] However, Magomedov was forced out of the bout in early March due to injury and replaced by Derrick Lewis.[40] Gonzaga lost the fight via KO in the first round.[41]

On 30 September 2016 it was announced that Gonzaga would be retiring from the sport unless offered a 6-figure contract from the UFC.[42]

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 Alejandro Esquilin Santiago.[43] Gonzaga won the four-round bout via majority decision.[44]

Bare-knuckle boxingEdit

On August 28, 2019, it was announced that Gonzaga would make his promotional debut headlining BKFC 8 against fellow UFC veteran Antônio Silva on October 19, 2019.[44] He won the fight via knockout in the second round.

Personal lifeEdit

Gonzaga and his wife Cau Janoni have a daughter and a son.[10] They live in Massachusetts.

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Mixed martial artsEdit

Brazilian jiu-jitsuEdit

  • Confederação Brasileira de Jiu Jitsu Olímpico
    •   2006 CBJJO World Cup Super Heavyweight Champion (Black Belt)
    •   2005 CBJJO World Cup Super Heavyweight Runner-Up (Black Belt)
    •   2005 CBJJO World Cup Absolute 3rd Place (Black Belt)
    •   2003 CBJJO World Cup Super Heavyweight Runner-Up (Black Belt)
    •   2003 CBJJO World Cup Absolute Runner-Up (Black Belt)
  • Confederação Brasileira de Jiu Jitsu
    •   2006 CBJJ Mundials Super Heavyweight Champion (Black Belt)
    •   2005 CBJJ Brazilian Nationals 3rd Place (Black Belt)
    •   1999 CBJJ Brazilian Nationals 3rd Place
    •   1996/1997 CBJJ Brazilian Nationals Champion (Purple Belt)
  • International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation
    •   2019 World Masters IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship Super Heavyweight Champion (Black Belt)
    •   2000 World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championship Super Heavyweight 3rd Place (Black Belt)
    •   1999 World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championship Super Heavyweight 3rd Place (Brown Belt)


Submission grapplingEdit

  • ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship
    • 2005 ADCC +99 kg Runner-Up
    • Opponents:
      • Won: Mustapha al-Turk (pts), Ricco Rodriguez (pts), Marcio Cruz (pts), Eduardo Telles (pts)
      • Lost: Jeff Monson (pts), Xande Ribeiro (sub)

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
29 matches 17 wins 12 losses
By knockout 9 10
By submission 7 0
By decision 1 2
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
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 TKO (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 TKO (submission to punches) Brazilian Gladiators 2 2 April 2003 1 N/A São Paulo, Brazil

Professional boxing recordEdit

Professional record summary
1 fight 1 win 0 losses
By decision 1 0
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
1 Win 1–0   Alejandro Esquilin Santiago MD 4 28 October 2017   DCU Center, Worcester, Massachusetts, US

Bare knuckle recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
1 match 1 win 0 losses
By knockout 1 0
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 1–0 Antônio Silva KO (punches) Bare Knuckle FC 8 October 19, 2019 2 1:50 Tampa, Florida, United States

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "World Master Jiu-Jitsu IBJJF Championship 2019". Official IBJJF results. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Fight Card - UFC Fight Night Dos Santos vs. Miocic". Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  3. ^ "Shane del Rosario forced out at UFC 162, Dave Herman now meets Gabriel Gonzaga". 1 June 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Brazilian Beat: Jiu-jitsu instructor at heart, Gabriel Gonzaga still happy to fight again". 8 October 2011.
  5. ^ "World Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2006 – Results". Official IBJJF results. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  6. ^ "World Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2002 – Results". Official IBJJF results. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  7. ^ "ADCC 2005 - Results". Official ADCC results. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  8. ^ "Brazilian Nationals Jiu-Jitsu Championship 1999 – Results". Official IBJJF results. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  9. ^ "Gabriel Gonzaga - Official UFC® Fighter Profile".
  10. ^ a b Remillard, Jason (18 January 2008). "Ultimate Time for Gonzaga". Mass Retrieved 19 January 2008.
  11. ^ "A statement from Gabriel "Napao" Gonzaga". 26 November 2005. Retrieved 19 January 2008.[dead link]
  12. ^ "Top Brazilian Heavyweights Battle in Newcastle". Sherdog. 30 October 2007. Retrieved 30 October 2007.
  13. ^ "UFC 86 Review: Main Event Wows, Forrest Wins!". 6 July 2008. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
  14. ^ "Another good fight goes bye-bye: Gonzaga out of UFC 108". 25 November 2009.
  15. ^ "Gabriel "Napao" Gonzaga".
  16. ^ "Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Brendan Schaub meet at UFC 121 in California". Archived from the original on 25 July 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010.
  17. ^ "Gonzaga released from the UFC". Retrieved 28 October 2010.
  18. ^ "Mixed Martial Arts: MMA News, Fighters, Events, Forum". The Underground.
  19. ^ ":: Welcome to the North American Grappling Association (NAGA) ::".
  20. ^ "".
  21. ^ "Nothing found for 2011 10 09 Gabriel Gonzaga Submits Parker Porter Takes Reality Fighting Heavyweight Championship". Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  22. ^ "Gabriel Gonzaga Back, Faces Ednaldo Oliveira at UFC 142". 16 December 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  23. ^ "Gabriel Gonzaga set to welcome Strikeforce's Shane Del Rosario to the Octagon". 22 February 2012.
  24. ^ "Gabriel Gabriel Gonzaga fills an open slot against Roy Nelson at UFC 146". 23 April 2012. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  25. ^ "Roy Nelson vs Dave Herman booked with Gabriel Gonzaga injured". 2 May 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  26. ^ "Gonzaga vs. 'Mondragon' set for UFC 153". 1 August 2012. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012.
  27. ^ "Heavyweights Ben Rothwell, Gabriel Gonzaga targeted for Jan. 19 UFC card in Brazil". 2 November 2012. Archived from the original on 29 January 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
  28. ^ "Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Travis Browne booked for The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale". 11 February 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  29. ^ "Shane del Rosario forced out at UFC 162, Dave Herman now meets Gabriel Gonzaga". 31 May 2013. Archived from the original on 8 June 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  30. ^ Brian Hemminger (24 July 2013). "Heavyweight bout Shawn Jordan vs Gabriel Gonzaga slated for UFC 166 in Houston". Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  31. ^ "Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Stipe Miocic added to UFC on FOX 10 in Chicago". 20 November 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  32. ^ Marc Raimondi (19 September 2014). "Heavyweights Matt Mitrione, Gabriel Gonzaga to meet on FOX card in Phoenix". Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  33. ^ "UFC Fight Night 64 heads to Poland with Cro Cop-Gonzaga II, Blachowicz-Manuwa". 23 January 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  34. ^ "UFC Fight Night 64 results: Mirko Filipovic shocks with TKO win over Gabriel Gonzaga". Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  35. ^ "UFC Krakow results: Mirko Cro Cop gets revenge on Gabriel Gonzaga with third-round TKO". 11 April 2015. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  36. ^ "UFC Fight Night 64 bonuses: Cro Cop and Gonzaga among four scoring $50,000". 11 April 2015. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  37. ^ "Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Konstantin Erokhin heavyweight tilt set for TUF 22 Finale in Vegas". 11 September 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  38. ^ Brent Brookhouse (11 December 2015). "TUF 22 Finale results: Gabriel Gonzaga takes lackluster decision over Konstantin Erokhin". Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  39. ^ Danny Doherty (22 January 2016). "UFC Fight Night 85: Gonzaga to fight Magomedov in Croatia". Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  40. ^ John Morgan (9 March 2016). "Derrick Lewis vs. Gabriel Gonzaga in works for UFC Fight Night 86". Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  41. ^ Ben Fowlkes (10 April 2016). "UFC Fight Night 86 results: Derrick Lewis crushes Gabriel Gonzaga for first-round KO". Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  42. ^ Kelsey Mowatt (30 September 2016). "UFC Vet Gabriel Gonzaga Says He's Retired Unless Six Figure Contract's Tabled".
  43. ^ "Former UFC Title Challenger Gabriel Gonzaga to Make Pro Boxing Debut on Oct 26".
  44. ^ a b Nolan King (28 August 2019). "Former UFC title challengers Antonio Silva, Gabriel Gonzaga to headline BKFC 8".
  45. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 October 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  46. ^ "Fight Matrix - MMA Awards".
  47. ^ "2007 Inside Fights Awards - Inside Pulse". Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  48. ^ "Gabriel Gonzaga". BJJ Heroes. Retrieved 25 March 2022.

External linksEdit