Last month the UFC received their first Polish champion in Joanna Jedrzejczyk. This month the UFC is headed to Poland for a UFC Fight Night which will mark yet another move to advance the UFC’s international expansion. The event has a handful of fighter’s from Poland. If a fighter isn’t from Poland and they are on this card, they are almost certainly from Europe.

The main event is a rematch between Gabriel Gonzaga and Mirko Filipovic. The first time they met, history was made. Gonzaga, the brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist not only defeated Cro-Cop, but he did it in the most unexpected way possible. Gonzaga delivered a head kick to the kick boxing legend that caused his body to crumple beneath his own weight.  The knockout was brutal and the way in which Cro-Cop’s leg was bent beneath his unconscious body was even worse.

Quite a bit has changed since their first meeting. Cro-Cop is riding a two fight winning streak, but both wins are over Satoshi Ishii. Ishii has some big win’s but he has never fought in the UFC. When he has fought big name’s it’s been on the downturn of their careers. Gonzaga on the other hand has remained in the UFC the entire time, but is currently on a three fight losing streak. This is a must win situation for Gonzaga. He won the first time, but if he loses to an aged Cro-Cop it could lead to a pink slip. Here are Gonzaga’s keys to victory.

Cardio
One of the biggest issues for Gabrielle Gonzaga is his cardio. It’s imperative that he comes into this fight ready to go the distance. He has never been into the championship rounds and he isn’t known for his cardio. The last time he won a fight that went past the second round was against Parker Porter. If you don’t know who that is, there is good reason. Cro-Cop will most likely try to take him into deep waters, and Gonzaga has to be ready for that.

Aggression
Gonzaga’s wild eye look is hardly a show. When he has won in the past it has been aggressively. The best chance he has is to rush Cro-Cop and make him fight Gonzaga’s fight. If Cro-Cop is allowed to establish distance and set the rhythm it will only be a matter of time before Gonzaga is looking up at the lights.

Threaten with Take Downs
Though Gonzaga won by head kick the first time around, his greatest asset is his ground game. If Gonzaga is pushing the pace aggressively he can shoot for take downs. If he can’t establish the take down it will at least keep Cro-Cop on edge so he can’t get comfortable. While Gonzaga threatens with take downs he may find openings that will possibly allow him to replicate the outcome of their first fight.

About The Author

Michael Davis
Director, Business Development/Senior Staff Writer

Michael Davis is a seasoned professional in the world of finance. In recent years, he has worked for Fortune 500 companies and consulted at one of the largest hedge funds in the world. After working closely with a mixed martial arts management company, he realized he could apply his skills to the sport he loved. The culmination of his professional experience and passion for MMA have led him to his role as Senior Staff Writer and Director of Business Development at The MMA Corner.