Gonzaga Still Celebrating Victory
(Pictures) was the protagonist of one
of the greatest surprises this year when he knocked out Mirko Filipovic (Pictures) in the main event at UFC 70. The
Brazilian, however, was not surprised by his own performance.
"The fight ran as I planned," Gonzaga told Sherdog.com. "I didn't
play Mirko's game and I imposed my strategy all over the fight.
This was the result of a lot of dedication."
The way in which the victory happened -- by knockout -- was
something Gonzaga trained for throughout his sparring sessions.
Gonzaga said he studied the Croatian's dangerous game, which was
responsible for hurting many top mixed martial artists in the past,
and found in the details the strategy he followed less than two
"I trained a lot of striking on my feet," Gonzaga revealed. "My
team watched all of his fights and we chose the best strategy
against him. We knew Mirko's every single step. Kicks, punches,
combos, takedown defenses -- we didn't miss a thing. Starting at
this point I imposed my game and I knew he would despise my
striking skills. The KO was a matter of time. A lot of things were
new to him in that fight, so I applied a strategy he didn't know
Gonzaga did all this despite knowing how important the fight
against "Cro Cop" could be to his career.
"Actually my manager spoke to me about this even before the match
was confirmed," said the Brazilian heavyweight. "We knew it was
supposed to be a very interesting fight. When we signed the
contract, I forgot everything else and I only trained for this for
It's been a fast rise to stardom for Gonzaga in the UFC, and he did
not forget to praise the mixed martial arts organization. "This
card was awesome," he said of the UFC's return to the UK. "The
audience was full, there was 14,000 people over there. Everything
was perfect, and the organization has my congratulations. They are
better every time."
Now comes the reward. In Gonzaga's next appearance in the Octagon
he'll challenge for the UFC heavyweight title against champion
Randy Couture (Pictures).
"Randy is a real champion," praised Gonzaga. "He is a model of
dedication to all of us, and he has nothing left to prove to
anybody. This will be a very anticipated fight by the fans and, in
the name of my respect to him, I will train double what I trained
to face ‘Cro Cop.'"
With several specialists in every single area of mixed martial
arts, Gonzaga's team provides him hard challenges in the gym
everyday. The result is obvious by his performances in the Octagon,
where he is 4-0.
"My training sessions are outstanding," said Gonzaga. "I train Muay
Thai, wrestling, boxing and Brazilian jiu-jitsu with top
specialists. My coaches are better and they lead me to my top
shape. My teammates are great, and I would like to introduce you
two names that you will hear called a lot in the near future:
Ricardo Funch and Karn Gregorian. They are two aces. They both have
three knockouts in three fights; soon they will debut in major
organizations. I'm living in Ludlow (Massachusetts) and my team --
Team Link -- in partnership with Marco Alvan, have very good
facilities. We have seven gyms already, and the students are doing
Gonzaga promised that there are a lot of good things to come on his
career, and the heavyweight title is at the top of the list.
"I'm following the way I choose and I want to be the champion," he
said. "You can expect for the strongest and most prepared Gonzaga
for the next fight."
Gonzaga is undoubtedly one of the toughest athletes in his weight
class, and much of that is due to his determination combined with
his team's work. The result of these things is very convincing
victories and an electrified audience every time he fights.
"This victory was a dedicated victory, with determination and
faith," he explained. "I dedicate this to everybody who trusted me.
I would like to thank to my sponsors, who gave all support to my
training season. They are Discover Marble & Granite and Kimonos
Dragão. I would like to invite every athlete who wants to join our
team, our team is newborn, and our doors are open to everybody who
wants to come. And to the ones who would like to sponsor me, please
contact me by the email firstname.lastname@example.org."
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