Matt Mitrione has made himself into a contender in the UFC’s heavyweight division, adding to his resume with a victory over Gabriel Gonzaga Saturday night at UFC on FOX 13.

The finish, which came early in the first round, was the eighth of Mitrione’s career, moving his overall record to 9-3. All 12 pro bouts for the former NFL player have come inside the Octagon.

Mitrione is now tied for second in UFC history with knockout wins.

“I have grown up (in the UFC),” Mitrione said. “I cut my teeth (here). I just want to show (the UFC) the investment they made in me was worth it.”

Mitrione has now won three straight since a 2013 submission loss to Brendan Schaub. His other career losses have come at the hands of Roy Nelson and Cheick Kongo.

“I feel like I am on top of the world,” he said. “I feel I am one of the best in the world and I can’t wait to show it.”

Gonzaga (16-8) had his two-fight win streak snapped. He is in his second stint with the UFC.