BoxRec’s Grey Johnson has broke the news that the former UFC fighter Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga will now join the fairly small yet growing list of MMA fighters trying their skills in boxing. Napao will be looking to make his debut against Alando Pugh who currently holds a record of 1-10-1 with nine of his defeats coming by way of knockout. Gonzaga had retired from mixed martial arts after he had gone gone 5-5 in his last 10 fights within the UFC. The boxer vs MMA fighter will be headlined in the New England’s Future 4 event in Worcester, Mass this October 28th.
Gabriel Gonzaga was known for upsetting Mirko Cro Cop in 2007 by knocking him out with a left head kick, a move Mirko Cro Cop had built himself a reputation for. After defeating Mirko Cro Cop, Gabriel Gonzaga challenged the UFC hall of famer Randy Couter in which he was defeated via TKO. Napao faced a number of prominent fighters in the UFC today including Fabricio Werdum, Junior Dos Santos as well as the current raining UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic. Gonzaga’s last fight in the UFC was against rising star Derrick Lewis in which the Brazilian was knocked out in round 1. The loss to Derrick Lewis was Gabriel’s last fight in the world of Mixed Martial Arts before he announced his retirement.
Mixed Martial Artists competing in boxing has been uncommon through out the years but has slowly been surging in popularity. Conor Mcgregor, the former UFC featherweight and current UFC light weight champion was the most prominent fighter to date to step into the ring and test his boxing skills out against the boxing legend Floyd Mayweather. The massive popularity between the Mcgregor and Mayweather fight may have sparked the recent rise in Mixed Martial Artists wanting to test there striking in the boxing ring.