An important heavyweight clash is the latest addition to the UFC on FOX 10 card on January 25 in Chicago. Both Stipe Miocic and Gabriel Gonzaga had expressed an interest in squaring off against one another and UFC matchmakers have put that contest together. It’s an intriguing battle pitting an up-and-comer against a veteran who is looking to make one more serious run in the heavyweight division.
Miocic worked his way into the UFC’s top-10 rankings thanks to a dominant decision victory over Roy Nelson at UFC 161. Miocic battered “Big Country” in what was the most impressive performance of his Octagon career. It was a strong bounce-back for Miocic after sustaining a TKO loss against Stefan Struve. It’s the only loss of his career. Miocic is 4-1 in his UFC career and has eight finishes in his 10 career victories.
As for Gonzaga, it’s been an impressive run in his second stint with the promotion. He’s 4-1 since returning, with his most recent effort being a first-round knockout of Shawn Jordan at UFC 166. “Napao’s” only setback, during this second chance in the UFC, came against highly-rated contender Travis Browne. Gonzaga’s 16-7 career record is one where he either finishes his opponent or gets stopped himself. Gonzaga has seven career knockouts and nine submissions. Meanwhile, he’s been knocked out six times.
Given the impressive finishing rate of both fighters, it would seem like a good bet that this matchup won’t be one that will require the judges’ scorecards. If Miocic can follow up his victory over Nelson with another high-profile win, he will have established himself as a possible title contender given the current state of the heavyweight division. If Gonzaga gets it done, his career resurgence will take another major step forward.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports