Gabriel Gonzaga is fighting against Travis Browne this weekend at TUF 17 finale. Once known as the future of the division, Gonzaga has been used to compete with up-and-comers to see if they are ready to take the next level of competition in the UFC. Fighters who defeat Gonzaga are usually a fight or two away from competing for the heavyweight title.
Gonzaga was a title contender himself, fighting for the UFC heavyweight belt at UFC 74 against Randy Couture. He came up short when he was knocked out at 1:37 of the third round. Since that defeat he’s had an up-and-down career in the UFC. Being able to beat fighters with less experience but also being defeated by fighters who end up being true contenders in their division.
In fighting Travis Browne, he is fighting a young, hungry fighter that is still looking to identify himself in the heavyweight division. He is coming off a loss to Antonio “Big Foot” Silva at UFC on FX 5. He will be able to regain momentum in the division if he beats Gonzaga.
Gonzaga does have a chance to prove us wrong. If he can defeat Travis Browne this weekend, then that will say plenty about Gonzaga as a fighter. It would definitely establish him as a threat to the title and not just a gatekeeper.