By Zach Arnold | April 22, 2007
By Zach Arnold
I saw a Japanese article at innolife talking about a recent 5 vs. 5 series with South Korean vs. ATT fighters. Is there any more information available about that event?
Gambling 911 on the Dana/Fedor contract dispute, if you want to call it that. Plus, they acknowledge some of the questions we’ve asked about those PRIDE fighter contracts. I’ll have more commentary about this on the next edition of our radio show.
Gryphon at NHB News notes the official broadcasting stoppage of UFC programming on WOWOW. The network had been broadcasting UFC shows since April of 2002. Gryphon has a message in English for Dana White.
There was a significant amount of coverage for Mirko Cro Cop’s loss to Gabriel Gonzaga in the various Japanese newspapers. Sankei Sports played the story straight but covered the significance of the loss, while Sports Nippon buried Mirko and called his KO loss disgraceful. They made sure to point out that Mirko was KO’d by a black belt in BJJ as well. Nikkan Sports did an excellent job in their article, talking about the differences between UFC and PRIDE rules (the cage, the use of elbows, etc.) and how Mirko was facing a new challenge because of it. The paper also pointed out what I did, which is that UFC made ‘a big miscalculation’ in booking Mirko vs. Gonzaga and that Mirko’s name value carrying the PRIDE ’signboard’ got damaged. Like Nikkan Sports, Daily Sports called Mirko’s loss disgraceful and pointed out that he lost his UFC Heavyweight title shot against Randy Couture.
Mr. Gonzaga is becoming quite the overnight star, as his brutal KO of Mirko was played during the ‘Ultimate Highlight’ video package on ESPN TV’s Sportscenter program. Plus, check out Kuma’s Japanese web page of information on Napao. Great work.
Watching the rise of Gabriel Gonzaga in UFC should be a happy occasion for all of us. He is a legitimately good person. When he made his UFC debut, he had a horrible fight in late 2005 against Kevin Jordan. Gonzaga was touted as someone with heavy hands who could knock out guys out. His fight performance against Jordan was unmercilessly ripped online. However, there was a good reason for why his UFC debut fight performance was sluggish. Here is Gabriel Gonzaga in his own words from November 26, 2005 in a statement he released to me and Brazilian writer Denis Martins.
A statement from Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga
I choose the Editor-in-Chief of PuroresuPower.com (Zach Arnold) and the Brazilian Correspondent of ADCC News (Denis Martins) to publish my letter, because they are the people who looked deeply into the problems I had prior to my UFC 56 fight. They knew that I wasn’t 100% going into the fight, so they gave me the support to translate this letter from Portuguese to English and explain the situation.
I would like to say that debuting in an event such as the great UFC 56 show isn’t an easy task for a fighter, even fighters who have lots of experience in other organizations. The pressure of debuting in an event that is considered by many to be one of the best in the world is huge. It is always good to debut with a victory, and better with a KO like the one I delivered to Kevin “The Shaman” Jordan.
My lack of stamina in the fight against Jordan is something that I want to discuss further and give you an explanation about. People who know me and have seen my previous 5 MMA fights recognize me as a fighter who doesn’t like to stall. I like to trade blows or go for submissions for an entire fight. My only defeat in a fight was against PRIDE fighter Fabricio Werdum at Jungle FC 1. It was a three-round war that the crowd applauded us for. I always do a lot of strong pre-fight training for upcoming matches and I never expect to face a tomato can in fights. I always intend on showing my best game, no matter who the opponent is. I always will dash against who is in front of me with all of my strength.
When my fight partner Marcio showed me the UFC contract, I didn’t hesitate in signing it because UFC was always a dream for me, a dream to participate in this premiere American MMA organization. I signed it and I had two months to prepare, which is enough time to provide an excellent showing for the UFC fans. I moved from my residence of Sao Paulo, Brazil to Massachusetts to participate at the training center where all of my preparation was done for the UFC 56 fight against Jordan. However, destiny conspired against me and gave me some unpleasant surprises which totally put me down. My wife was five months pregnant with twins and these would be our first two kids. We discovered that one of the children nearly died and that the other child was at risk of dying, putting my wife’s life at risk as well. We moved immediately to Rio de Janeiro, where we would have more hospital support and the support of my wife’s parents. The situation was growing more desparate and I couldn’t let my wife be alone in this tough moment. With seven months of pregnancy gone by, we had to make an emergency child birth. God reserved a place on his side to one of my daughters (Leticia) and he gave us the gift of a beautiful girl named Isabela (who stayed in the incubator for a month and five days to gain some weight). Now she is at home with my wife and I thank God for it.
With all of this taking place, I arrived in Massachusetts 12 days prior to the UFC 56 fight and I didn’t have the time to prepare properly. I couldn’t tell the organizers and promoters of UFC (who trusted my potential) that I would have to cancel 10 days before the show. I couldn’t let this opportunity of showing my talent to the UFC fans slip away.
I went into the fight against Jordan that night thinking that I had a good first round because I took him down, got the mount, and nearly submitted him by choke. Plus, I had some hits that landed and connected. However, I really gassed out in the second and third rounds, but I ended the fight with a beautiful KO.
I would like to thank all of you who supported me and gave me enough strength after the fight. To those who criticized me during and after the fight, I can tell you all that I am not displeased with that. All the fans have their reasons for criticism because they expected more from me and I didn’t show it. I will talk from the bottom of my heart and the next opportunity I get, I will show 100% of my technique and will-power to erase the bad image that I showed from the UFC 56 fight. I am sure that the UFC fans will applaud me after I provide them a show that they deserve to see. I will show technique on the ground and on the feet. And a lot of heart!
I will be prepared for a war the next time and fight with my strength, whether it is 3 rounds or 5 rounds if necessary. I do not have any fear of talking about my desire to win a UFC belt and I will show it for the fans in my next fight. Be sure of my words above — you can see it in me the next time I fight.
Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga
He’s living up to his words and his expectations. And if UFC is smart, they’ll realize that Napao has an interesting life story to tell as well.
Onto today’s headlines.
- Radio: WO Live 4/22 (Dave Meltzer compared Gonzaga’s win to Buster Douglas beating Mike Tyson, said it was sad and that it was damaging to UFC — claims it could cost UFC $8-10 million USD and Gonzaga doesn’t have ’star power’)
- Deadspin: I’ll post anything that gets Joe Rogan this excited (the Gonzaga KO – plus revelations of UFC parties, which gives me flashbacks to WCW Nitro parties – stop me now…)
- UFC Mania: UFC 70 – Karma is a twist for Cro Cop
- Fox Sports: Revisiting PRIDE vs. UFC
- MMA HQ: UFC 70 – Nations Collide recap
- The Independent (UK): Ultimate fighting – New kind of fight club acclaims Bisping, the local hero
- The Manchester Evening News (UK): UFC at M.E.N. Arena (the newspaper who sponsors the arena that the UFC event was in publishes a negative article)
- The Green Valley News: Is cage fighting going mainstream?
- The Daily Breeze: Gabriel Gonzaga shocks Cro Cop with a KO
- The Daily Star (UK): Man Utd. Bloody Fight Shock
- The Lancashire Telegraph (UK): Bisping targets title gold
- British Boxing: A review of Cage Rage 21 by a MMA virgin
- Komikazee: UFC 70 show review
- The Vernon Morning Star (Canada): Jason St. Louis relishes cage fights
- UFC Junkie: UFC considering U.K. edition of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’