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Monday, April 2, 2007

Gabriel Gonzaga - Hmmmmmmm......

Nobody is talkin' about Gabriel Gonzaga. Why you ask? Well, he is set to fight Mirko Cro Cop at UFC 70 in the U.K. on April 21 and is viewed by most as Cro Cop's next human kicking post victim.

Just wait a minute!

If you were to ask anyone who is in the know and asked them where Cro Cop's glaring weakness is in his game then the answer that would come back almost every time is Mirko's ground game. Even Fedor Emelianenko eluded to that as a fact early this year:

Q: If Nogueira and Cro Cop had a rematch today, who would have a higher chance of winning?

Fedor: Everything depends on how they implement their game plans. If Mirko keeps it standing, Nogueira will suffer. At the same time, if Nogueira forces his game on Mirko and brings the fight to the ground, Mirko will have less of a chance to win, since he is weaker on the ground.

If I were Cro Cop, I would continue to chop down trees with my legs however, if someone who is a takedown and Jiu-Jitsu specialist fights 'legs of steel' Cro Cop, then we would have a very intense and interesting fight on the ground with Mirko's legs taken out of the equation and a possible loss for the Croatan MMA God.

Enter Gabriel Gonzaga...

Gonzaga is not a small man, in fact, he is 6'2" & 242Lbs and sports an MMA record of 7-1-0. I know, it seems to be a lob sided match up in terms of ring experience against Cro Cop who is 6'2" & 215Lbs with an impressive MMA record of 22-4-2.

Gonzaga looks like the next Eddie Sanchez, no doubt, except for the fact that Gonzaga has mad Jiu-Jitsu skills that could potentially be the deciding factor IF the fight goes to the ground.

I have included some really remarkable videos that you will not find anywhere on the same page. The first video shows how quickly Gonzaga transitions on the ground and how well honed his Jiu-Jitsu skills are. I was impressed to see such a big man move like that on the ground. Gonzaga is no human kicking post or blanket for that matter.

The next two videos below the Gonzaga video might piss a few people off and I really don't care. It is important to highlight the 'potential' weakness in a fighter even as great at Cro Cop so I have included the only two fights that Cro Cop lost that were not due to Judges Decision.

The one thing that stood out for me was Cro Cop's weak sprawl and how awkward he looks and probably feels while he is in the guard. Watch the "Big Nog" fight and you'll see Cro Cop offer his arm straight up in the air to defend the ground and pound except that his arm looks like the biggest piece of steak to a hungry wolf with superior submission skills. Very dangerous position for Mirko.

Could this be the way to beat Cro Cop?

Here is what I would do... DO NOT circle left on Mirko. This leaves you open for the left high kick that Cro Cop is famous for. Instead, press the fight directly and try for the shoot take down to the ground. Once on the ground in top position, Mirko is basically useless on his back without his legs of steel. This is the best time to finish with a quick arm bar or transition to an arm triangle then finish with a rear naked choke when a worn down Cro Cop gives his back to escape.

The trick is to get Cro Cop to the ground and if Gonzaga makes the same mistake as Eddie Sanchez and does not try for the takedown multiple times during the fight like Randy Couture did against Tim Sylvia at UFC 68 then you can say goodnight and sweet dreams to Gonzaga when Cro Cop kicks his head clear off his neck and out of the arena, across the Atlantic Ocean then landing in a remote part of the rain forest of Brazil.

I am amped for this fight and I also know that anything can happen especially at the highest level of MMA on the planet. Spike TV will carry the fight for free to North Americans and MMA Fever will post the fights right here for the whole MMA world to enjoy!

Gabriel Gonzaga Vs. Carmelo Marrero @ UFC 66: Liddell Vs. Ortiz II - December 30, 2006

Kevin Randleman Vs. Mirko Cro Cop @ PRIDE Total Elimination 2004 - April 25th, 2004

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Vs. Mirko Cro Cop @ PRIDE Final Conflict 2003 - November 9, 2003

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