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Manager: Gabriel Gonzaga equally interested in fight with Stipe Miocic

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Stipe Miocic’s manager wants Gabriel Gonzaga and he may get exactly that.

MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani reported on Wednesday’s edition of UFC Tonight that Miocic’s manager has asked the UFC to match him against the Brazilian. MMA Fighting can exclusively confirm Gonzaga’s manager is interested in the offer.

"We are interested in any fight the UFC offers, and Stipe Miocic is a great fighter," Gonzaga’s manager and head coach, Marco Alvan, told "He’s well ranked in the UFC, he’s coming off a great win over Roy Nelson, and that fight makes sense for Gonzaga right now. It would be a great opportunity to get Gonzaga closer to the Top 5, and that’s what he wants."

Miocic hasn’t fought since a dominant decision victory over Roy Nelson last June, and Gonzaga has scored two consecutive first-round knockouts over the last four months, finishing Dave Herman and Shawn Jordan.

"Stipe is a great fighter, we all know that, and he would be a great challenge, but Gonzaga has fought some of the best for a long time," he said. "Gonzaga believes in his striking and he would go there to try to knock him out. Gonzaga hits harder and has everything to add another knockout to his record."

Gonzaga announced his retirement from MMA after being released from the UFC in 2010, but he changed his mind a year later and took a fight at Reality Fighting. Since then, Gonzaga has gone 5-1 with five stoppage victories, but his camp still feels Travis Browne should have been disqualified for illegal elbows in his victory over the Brazilian last April.

"Gonzaga is coming off six consecutive wins," Alvan said. "We accept that loss to Browne, but we don’t agree with it. We respect UFC’s decision, we respect the athletic commission, but we don’t agree with it. Just watch the fight. Nine out of 10 people would agree that those shots were illegal. We know that.

"He tied Frank Mir’s record of most finishes (eleven) in the UFC heavyweight history," he continued, "and he wants to make history by being the first heavyweight to fight five times in a calendar year."