Out-of-the-blue Brazilian heavyweight fighter Gabriel Gonzaga has revealed that he’s re-signed with the UFC and will fight at their January 14th event in Rio De Janeiro event in Brazil.
Gonzaga has signed a new four-fight deal with the promotion and will step in to replace the UK’s Rob Broughton who pulled out injured from his preliminary fight with Ednaldo Oliveira.
Gonzaga left the UFC and declared his retirement from the sport last year after back-to-back losses against Junior Dos Santos and Brendan Schaub.
After a year out it appears Gonzaga had second thoughts however and returned with a victory for a regional promotion back in October.
It’s a good time for Gonzaga to return to the sport’s biggest stage as MMA is currently enjoying a huge surge in popularity in his native Brazil which has turned fighters like Anderson Silva and Junior Dos Santos into major stars who’s fights are watched by millions of fans on Globo TV.
Gonzaga was at one time a significant force in the UFC’s heavyweight division, infamously head kick KO’ing Mirko Cro Cop at UFC 70 which earned him a title shot against Randy Couture.
He would lose by TKO in that fight though and hes struggled after that, going from an 8-1 career record to 11-6 in the space of three years.
Gonzaga’s fight with Oliveira will form part of the prelims for the show which will be broadcast live on the FX channel prior to the main pay-per-view card.