The UFC’s March 21 card, which will be the UFC’s VERSUS debut, is stacking up to be a barn-burner. The UFC today announced the addition of Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga (11-4) vs. Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos (10-1) to the card, in a heavyweight showdown that is practically guaranteed not to go the distance.
Gonzaga, now going on his fifth year with the promotion, is coming off a first round TKO victory over Chris Tuchscherer at UFC 102 back in August. It was a much-needed comeback fight for Gonzaga who had been knocked out in his previous fight with Shane Carwin at UFC 96.
Gonzaga has often been hit or miss in his UFC career, but when he hits, he hits hard, and when he connects, it is usually a short night for his opponents. Gonzaga will have to bring his A-game if he wants to get past young Brazilian up-and-comer Junior dos Santos.
Since making his debut at UFC 90 in Oct. 2008, “Cigano” has finished all four of his opponents inside the Octagon. He started his reign with a devastating first round knockout of Fabricio Werdum, then Stefan Struve, he made Mirko Cro Cop quit, and most recently, he knocked out Gilbert Yvel at UIFC 108 on Jan. 2.
If Dos Santos gets an impressive win over Gonzaga, he will likely find himself in title contention, facing the winner of Shane Carwin and Frank Mir who are set to fight for the interim heavyweight title at UFC 111 on March 27 (the winner of Carwin vs. Mir could fight Lesnar if he returns within a reasonable amount of time).
Headlining the March 21 VERSUS card is a light heavyweight bout between Jon “Bones” Jones and Brandon “The Truth” Vera. Other fights officially scheduled for the card include John Howard vs. Anthony Johnson and Eliot Marshall vs. Vladimir Matyushenko.
By: Jack Bratcher