Yes, even if you weren’t watching MMA way back then, chances are you’ve seen footage of Gonzaga’s vicious KO, dozens, if not hundreds of times. It was a memorable stoppage because of how brutal it was, but also because “Cro Cop” was better known for dusting off opponents in that fashion.
Now, eight years later, Gonzaga and “Cro Cop” are set to fight at UFC Fight Night 64. “Napao” recently spoke to MMA Junkie.com about the upcoming bout, and here is some of what he had to say about this Saturday’s rematch.
“People like to look at the first fight and compare, but he’s not going to win again,” Gonzaga said. “He’s still a dangerous fighter. He’s got a strong high kick still. He knocked someone out with it in his last fight. He’s still dangerous and a really good fighter. I need to fight smart to win.”
“I think that the way it ended cannot be reproduced,” Gonzaga said, while reflecting on their first encounter. “I’m not trying to land another high kick; I’m trying to win the fight. If I win, it could be standing; it could be on the ground. I’ll be ready to go wherever the fight goes.”
Now sure, maybe Gonzaga is just playing mind games and is just saying another high kick isn’t in his plans. But, one would think “Cro Cop’s” going to be extremely cautious, regardless of what his opponent says. The Croatian legend doesn’t want his UFC return going that route…
All this aside, it’s a big fight for both guys. As mentioned, “Cro Cop” is returning to the Octagon for the first time since 2011, when his UFC run concluded with three straight losses. Since then the PRIDE vet has gone 3-1 in MMA action.
Gonzaga, meanwhile, is coming off consecutive defeats to Matt Mitrione and Stipe Miocic.
UFC FN 64 will be hosted by the Krakow Arena in Poland.