When I hear the name Gabriel “Napão” Gonzaga, my thoughts are automatically brought back to his incredible head kick KO over Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic. Following that win, which was the most impressive and most memorable of his career, he went 3-5 in his next 8 UFC fights.
After Gonzaga’s departure from the UFC he stated via twitter that he was no longer going to compete in MMA and strictly focus on his BJJ training. During his time off he enjoyed his family, built an school in Worcester Mass (Team Link) where he is making bjj champions. His Team Link family obviously had an impact on him, which brought him back to MMA nearly a year after his last UFC fight. He picked up a 3rd round submission victory over Parker Porter to pick up the Reality Fighting Heavyweight Championship.
We are a family here at Team Link and they always keep telling me that I belong there and motivating me all the time. I want to have a big run in the UFC and I am training hard for it!
It will be nearly 5 years after fighting for the UFC Heavyweight Championship against Randy Couture, when Gonzaga steps into the octagon at UFC 142 to face off against Edinaldo Oliveira. The world of MMA has changed a lot since his last run at a UFC title and he feels he has grown with it.
It was a big honor to fight Randy Couture for the UFC Heavyweight Championship. I learned a lot from that fight and I believe I am much more mature now and I am very motivate for this fight!
As “Napão” stated he is very motivated for his upcoming fight against Oliveira, but one must think that he has his sights set on current UFC Heavyweight Champion, Junior Dos Santos. Back in March of 2010, Gonzaga fought the current champ Dos Santos, and lost by KO early in the first round.
In order to think of any fighter I need to pass Edinaldo and it is my focus now! I am training very hard for this fight and it is only what I think at this time!
Oliveira is a Brazilian MMA veteran, who has fought on the Brazilian Circuit since 2005. He is a very impressive 13-0 in his MMA career, with 8 of his victories coming by way of (T)KO. Not many North Americans have heard of Edinaldo Oliveira, so how does one prepare for an opponent like that?
My team are studying and will find the best strategy for this fight. Oliveira is 13-0 for a reason. He has a great coaches behind him, but I want to fight and claim my spot back. He is in front of me. I am preparing very hard for this fight!