The last time Gabriel Gonzaga won three straight fights, he was on his way to a heavyweight title shot. Almost six years later, after a short-lived retirement and a return to fighting, Gonzaga has authored another three-fight streak.
Ben Rothwell was the latest and most significant name he's put away in that time. And Gonzaga didn't just win; he finished.
After rocking the veteran with a straight right hand, Gonzaga latched on to a guillotine choke that led to a tapout win at 1:10 of round two of their UFC on FX 7 bout.
Gonzaga likely won the first round, pushing the tempo with his grappling. He scored three takedowns in the opening five minutes, and also landed several straight rights against Rothwell, who spent a lot of time in the southpaw stance in the fight.
The end came shortly after Gonzaga stunned Rothwell with another crisp, straight right. Rothwell staggered backwards a step, and Gonzaga stepped into a standing guillotine and then pulled guard. Rothwell tried to fight off the choke for a few seconds, but finally surrendered with a single but definitive tap.
"I've started training a lot more jiu-jitsu so I can go back to my origins, but I also did not forget my striking abilities," said Gonzaga, now 14-6.
Rothwell dropped to 32-9, and has alternated wins and losses in his last eight fights.