Gonzaga, a 34-year-old jiu-jitsu black belt, returned to the UFC only 15 months after announcing his retirement. With four wins in the last five contests, "Napao" promises to expose Jordan, a 6-foot, 248-pound wrestler, who also used to compete for LSU's football team.
"I just started my camp, and I believe I’ll be ready wherever the fight goes," Gonzaga told MMAFighting.com. "I will wait for an opportunity and get inside with my jiu-jitsu or standing."
The only loss in Gonzaga's second UFC run is a controversial first-round KO to Travis Browne at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale. Gabriel tried to appeal the defeat to the Nevada Athletic Commission, claiming Browne's strikes landed to the back of his head, but the result wasn’t changed.
"I tried to appeal, but I got nothing," Gonzaga said, revealing that he doesn’t obsess with the idea of fighting Browne again. "That fight is in the past, I’m focused on the next one. I will fight whoever the UFC puts in front of me. If you focus on someone and it never happens, it can be frustrating."
A man of few words, Gonzaga listened to his family after announcing his retirement, but then decided to give himself another chance. It paid off. After three victories in the UFC, two by submission and one by knockout, he believes he will eventually return to the top of the division, where he once challenged Randy Couture for the heavyweight title.
"My friends and family told me I should get back [to fighting], so I decided to give myself another chance," he said, revealing that money wasn’t the reason why he returned.
"The financial part helps, of course, but I came back making a third of what I was making before. I didn’t get to the half yet, but that’s part of the game and I’m happy. I can relax and fight better now, but my face still is the target."