Gabriel Gonzaga is hoping to make one more major run in the heavyweight division and that dream remains alive and well after an impressive effort at UFC 166. The veteran Brazilian now has two straight first-round finishes after stopping Shawn Jordan just a minute and thirty-three seconds into their contest. For Gonzaga, it was a terrific follow up to a 17-second stoppage of Dave Herman in his last fight. There were many who thought Gonzaga was pretty much done after suffering a first-round knockout loss to contender Travis Browne a couple of fights ago; all that talk has been laid to rest for now.
“Napao“ improved to 11-6 inside the Octagon with the victory against Jordan and remarkably, all 16 of his career wins have been by either knockout or submission. He still owns one of the most famous knockouts in UFC history when he destroyed Mirko Filipovic at UFC 70 with a brutal head kick. Gonzaga’s punches seem to have gotten more precise and certainly carry a devastating impact.
In a relatively talent-thin heavyweight division, Gonzaga should be in line next for a fight with a top-10 opponent. While his chin can be dented, as Gonzaga has been knocked out six times, his kill or be killed approach does make for exciting fights.
As for the powerful Jordan, he’s now 3-2 inside the Ocatagon. The loss snapped a two-fight win streak. Jordan remains a relatively raw talent having made the transition to mixed martial arts from his NCAA football playing days. He’s still a competitor who has plenty to learn, as he found out from the veteran Gonzaga in Houston.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports