Former UFC Title Challenger Gonzaga Wins Pro-Boxing Debut

It would appear that a former UFC competitor has made a successful boxing debut.

Gabriel Gonzaga is a former UFC heavyweight that came a fight away from the championship title. Taking on the reigning champion at the time, Randy Couture, at UFC 74, the fighter suffered a TKO loss in the third round.

Gonzaga would never get quite so close to the title again, ending his career with a 1-4 streak in his final five fights. Still, the mixed martial arts veteran and grappling phenom went on to form a professional record of 17-11 with battles against some of the division’s greatest competitors.

Competing at Rivera Promotions Entertainment’s “New England’s Future 4,” the former UFC competitor recently made a successful professional boxing debut. The fighter earned a majority decision victory over Alejandro Esquilin Santiago in the night’s heavyweight co-main event.

Speaking to MMA Junkie, Gonzaga said:

“I thought I’d be more relaxed in the ring like I had been in the gym. I did my best and came away with a victory. I was too safe in the third round. My punches were much strong and a lot of his punches I blocked with my gloves. This was really great tonight!”