He’s Baaaaaack! Gabriel Gonzaga Bounces Back at UFC 86 With a Bang!

by: Jack Bratcher

Gabriel Gonzaga bounces back into the winning side of things with a huge heavyweight bang! The first mistake his opponent, Justin McCully, makes is wanting to trade leg kicks with the beast. First MicCully throws a couple of leg kicks that Gonzaga checks and then BAM! Gonzaga throws one leg kick that drops McCully to the ground. Gonzaga immediately jumps on his prey, gives him a nice ground and pound gift, mounts him and using that brute strength he posseses, he applies an kimora arm submission and twists that arm until McCully is forced to tap out or risk losing that particular limb via non-surgical separation. It was a beautiful performance from the heavyweight Gonzaga.

Gabriel Gonzaga was coming off two losses; to Randy Couture and Fabricio Werdum. In his performance against Werdum, although Gonzaga looked great in the first round, many people wondered what the hell happened in round two.  After his loss to Couture and then his loss to Werdum, most people had come to the conclusion that his first round head kick KO to CroCop was nothing more than a fluke.  Some people were also questioning his heart due to what happened in the Werdum fight when in the first round he was winning, but then it looked as though his will to succeed flew out the window in that second round once he started taking some shots.

Admittedly, in this fight it was all Gonzaga, so we didn’t get an opportunity to see how he would deal with full-contact physical opposition.  So there is still some questions to be answered  about Gonzaga’s game; most notably is the questiion if he can stay composed when the fight isn’t going his way.  It’s a situation all fighters have to face sooner or later.  A good example of this is Forrest Griffin.  In his fight against Rampage, Forrest got knocked on his butt in the very first round with a very solid uppercut.  It was a punch that many fighters would not have recovered from, but not only did Forrest recover, he ended up winning the fight and even that round according to some judges.  It’s one of the most significant attributes a fighter can possess; it’s called heart. One thing you don’t want to be known as when you’re a fighter is to be called “tin man,” referring to the character in The Wizard of Oz who had no heart.

I’ve liked Gonzaga since the first time I saw him compete.  He’s so versatile for such a big guy.  Not only is his jui-jitsu off the charts but he has some lethal kicks and phenomenal ground and pound.  If that guy gets on top of you, you are in real trouble.  I still have great faith in Gonzaga and am expecting great things to come from him in the UFC.  The UFC Heavyweight division still has an “interim” champion in Nogueira and with guys like Werdum, Mir, and Gonzaga all in the hunt for the Title, we have a lineup of jui-jitsu freaks.  If you think about it, the Heavyweight lineup in the UFC while at first glance may not seem very deep or that exciting right now;  really has something pretty special going on with all the jui-jitsu experts clamoring for the top.  And Gabriel Gonzaga right there in the middle of it all has just as good a chance as anyone at one day holding the UFC Heavyweight Championship.  He definitely has the ability and only time will tell us more about his heart. Welcome back Gabriel!  We missed you!

To learn more  about Gabriel Gonzaga, check out his Myspace page at: Gabriel Gonzaga’s Myspace