Gabriel Gonzaga has made an impressive revival of his MMA career since rejoining the UFC; the 16-7 MMA veteran has racked up a 4-1 record since January 2012 with all wins coming by stoppage. Gonzaga submitted Ednaldo Oliveira and Ben Rothwell before being brutally KO’d by Travis Browne at TUF 17 finale.
Bouncing back with two straight knockout wins over Sdave Herman and Shawn Jordan, ‘Napao’ is surely looking at a high profile bout for his next outing. Well, according to a report in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Gonzaga and Stipe Miocic are ready to face off:
"Miocic has reached a verbal agreement to fight Gabriel ‘Napao’ Gonzaga at UFC on Fox January 25 in Chicago, UFC public relations manager Matt Radmanovich confirmed in an email Wednesday night,"
This is a huge fight for both guys, but especially for Gonzaga. ‘Napao’ would break in to the top 10 with a win over the ninth ranked Miocic. The Croation Cleveland native will look to improve his streak to two, after bouncing back from a TKO loss to Stefan Struve by beating the Michelin Man Roy Nelson by decision at UFC 161.
Gonzaga has already been spoken about in chatter regarding top 10 opponents, and his form of late has indicated that he is more than ready. The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu specialist has shown an alarming boost in the stand up department, couple that with his bread and butter and you have a very dangerous fighter.
Miocic will be a tough test for Gonzaga, who at 34 could well be making the last roll of the dice for a title shot. I have to say that if I were a betting man, I’d probably put a few shillings on Gonzaga to steal the win here.