UFC Cuts Former Title Contender Gonzaga


Back-to-back losses to the world-ranked Junior dos Santos and “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 10 finalist Brendan Schaub have left Gabriel Gonzaga (Pictured) on the outside looking in.

Gonzaga, who fought for the UFC heavyweight championship in August 2007, was released by the UFC following his unanimous decision defeat to Schaub at UFC 121 “Lesnar vs. Velasquez” on Saturday at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Gonzaga confirmed his release via Twitter.

Schuab outboxed the 31-year-old Brazilian throughout their 15-minute encounter. He pumped a left jab into Gonzaga’s face from the outset, stuffed his only takedown attempt with 90 seconds left in round one and dropped the former heavyweight title contender with a right hook. The punch punctuated a combination at the end of the first round. Gonzaga was never the same. He scored with three thudding leg kicks inside the first minute of the second period but largely abandoned those attacks as the battle deepened. Schaub, a former Golden Gloves champion, attacked both the head and body and had Gonzaga on his heels for much of their lopsided affair.

A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Gonzaga burst on the global scene three years ago, when he knocked out 2006 Pride Fighting Championships open weight grand prix winner Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic with a first-round head kick at UFC 70. One-sided losses to UFC hall of famer Randy Couture and Fabricio Werdum followed, curbing his considerable momentum.

Gonzaga has not won a fight since he stopped Chris Tuchscherer on first-round punches at UFC 102 more than a year ago. That match was marred by controversy, however, as the Team Link representative belted Tuchscherer with a brutal low blow in the opening seconds.

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