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Gabriel Gonzaga Bio

Gabriel Gonzaga (Portuguese pronunciation:[ɡabɾiˈew ɡõˈzaɡɐ]; born May 18, 1979) is a Brazilian professional boxer and retired professional mixed martial artist, who competed in the Heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. 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.


  • 1 Background
  • 2 Mixed martial arts career
    • 2.1 Early career
    • 2.2 Ultimate Fighting Championship
    • 2.3 Post UFC
    • 2.4 Return to the UFC
  • 3 Professional boxing career
  • 4 Grappling credentials
  • 5 Personal life
  • 6 Championships and accomplishments
    • 6.1 Mixed martial arts
  • 7 Mixed martial arts record
  • 8 See also
  • 9 References
  • 10 External links


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 career

Early career

Gonzaga made his professional MMA debut on April 4, 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 Championship

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.

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 became the next contender for UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture. The knockout was the consensus Knockout of the Year for 2007.

At UFC 74, Gonzaga lost to Couture by 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.

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.

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 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.

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

Gonzaga was defeated by Brendan Schaub on October 23, 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.

Post UFC

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 October 8 where he submitted him with an arm-triangle choke in the third round, winning the Reality Fighting Heavyweight Championship.

Return to the UFC

It was announced that Gonzaga signed a new, four-fight contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship on December 16, 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 May 26, 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 October 13, 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 Ben Rothwell on January 19, 2013 at UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping He won the fight via submission in the second round.

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

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

Gonzaga next faced Shawn Jordan on October 19, 2013 at UFC 166. 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 January 25, 2014 at UFC on Fox 10. 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 December 13, 2014 at UFC on Fox 13. He lost the bout in the first round via TKO.

Gonzaga faced returning veteran Mirko Cro Cop in a rematch on April 11, 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 faced Konstantin Erokhin on December 11, 2015 at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale. He won the fight by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-28).

Gonzaga was expected to face Ruslan Magomedov on April 10, 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 September 30, 2016 it was announced that Gonzaga will be retiring from the sport unless offered a 6-figure contract from the UFC.

Professional boxing career

On September 14, 2017, it was announced that Gonzaga would be making his pro boxing debut for the Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE) boxing promotion on October 26 against a to be determined opponent.

Grappling credentials

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 +99kg

2003 2nd CBJJO Copa Do Mundo Black Belt Pesadissimo 2nd CBJJO Copa Do Mundo Black Belt Absolute

2000 3rd Mundials black belt Super-Pesado

Personal life

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

Championships and accomplishments

Mixed martial arts

  • Ultimate Fighting Championship
    • Knockout of the Night (One time)
    • Fight of the Night (Two times)
    • Second for most finishes in the UFC heavyweight division (11)
    • Tied for the third most finishes in UFC history (11)
    • 2007 Knockout of the Year vs. Mirko Cro Cop on April 21
  • FIGHT! Magazine
    • 2007 Knockout of the Year vs. Mirko Cro Cop on April 21
  • Fight Matrix
    • Most Lopsided Upset of the Year (2007)
  • Inside Fights
    • 2007 Knockout of the Year vs. Mirko Cro Cop on April 21
  • Reality Fighting
    • Reality Fighting Heavyweight Championship (One time)

Mixed martial arts record

See also

  • List of current UFC fighters
  • List of male mixed martial artists
  • List of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners

External links

  • Official site Gabriel "Napão" Gonzaga
  • Professional MMA record for Gabriel Gonzaga from Sherdog Edit this at Wikidata
  • Squared BJJ
  • UFC Profile

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