Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweights Stipe Miocic and Gabriel Gonzaga locked horns in the UFC on FOX 10 co-main event last night (Sat., Jan. 25, 2014) from United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
No. 8-ranked Miocic only fought once last year, but he made a statement by thoroughly out striking a big name in Roy Nelson. Gonzaga, on the other hand, had been destroying opponents left and right, finishing five out of his previous six opponents heading into UFC on FOX 10.
Unfortunately for him, he couldn't improve on that number last night. Miocic entered the fight with only loss in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career, and that didn't change. He turned in a solid performance to notch one of the biggest wins of his promising career.
To watch full Stipe Miocic vs. Gabriel Gonzaga fight highlights from UFC on FOX 10 click here.
Let's take a look back at his one-sided victory over "Napao."
Gonzaga came out throwing a hard leg kick. Miocic controlled the center of the Octagon and threw a low kick of his own. Miocic landed a nice combo, but Gonzaga wobbled him with a hard shot. "Napao" looked to grapple but Miocic quickly turned it back into a boxing match. Gonzaga scored a hard right hand, which Miocic followed with a high kick. The fighters traded leg kicks before Gonzaga got a takedown and finished the round with a late kick.
The second round saw Miocic control the action with his jab and a kick. He sprawled out on a takedown and blocked one of "Napao's" big high kicks. Miocic began to land with his hands as Gonzaga's output slowed considerably. He avoided another takedown and stalked Gonzaga down, peppering him with straight shots. Gonzaga ate punch after punch as his game became a bit sloppy in the later stages of the second. Miocic mixed it up well with punches and kicks and was by far the fresher fighter.
The last round began with Gonzaga coming out strong, but that was quickly reversed by Miocic's excellent patience and precision. Gonzaga didn't have an answer for Miocic's varied offense, and his attempts to drag the fight to the ground weren't working, either.
Miocic dropped low for a takedown, securing it and wobbling Gonzaga with a left hand. Gonzaga tempted Miocic to jump inside his guard, but he was too smart for that. Miocic kept Gonzaga grounded, landing with powerful shots and elbows. An exhausted Gonzaga landed two shots at the final bell, but it was too late.
Miocic took home the clear-cut unanimous decision victory, proving once again that he is one of the UFC heavyweight division's finest up-and-coming prospects. He should receive a decent rise in the rankings by defeating Gonzaga, and a huge fight potentially awaits him. If UFC wants to throw him to the wolves, they could book Miocic opposite Josh Barnett. "Warmaster" is coming off a loss, but he still has the complete game to give the young Miocic the toughest test of his career.
That's a big fight to make, and it would show us whether or not the well-rounded Miocic is ready to push towards an eventual title shot.
Gonzaga came out with some very solid leg kicks and appeared to be finding a home for his overhand right, but he simply gassed and was rendered completely ineffective. He was also unable to utilize any of his world-class Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills. Gonzaga just doesn't have the conditioning to hang with the truly elite heavyweights of the world. But, he can still put on some very entertaining bouts so pitting him against an opponent like Mark Hunt would be a great fight to make for the fans.
Stipe Miocic proved he's a force to be reckoned with by battering Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC on FOX 10. Is he ready to rise to the top of the heavyweight food chain?