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
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.