Gabriel Gonzaga’s return to MMA did not go as planned on Saturday against Aleksander Emelianenko.
Just over two years after his retirement from mixed martial arts, Gabriel Gonzaga made his return to the sport that made him famous. The former UFC title challenger took on the other Emelianenko, Aleksander, at a Russian Cagefighting Championship event in Yekaterinburg, Russia on Saturday. It wasn’t a great night in the end for ‘Napao’ as the Brazilian wound up submitted in the second round by Emelianenko.
You can check out the finish below.
Aleksander Emelianenko finished (TKOd) Gabriel Gonzaga in 2R (RCC2) pic.twitter.com/ahdMYbSKY1
— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) May 5, 2018
Gonzaga had taken a professional boxing match during his hiatus from MMA, which he won several months back. Getting the better of Aleksander Emelianenko was a different story. While Gonzaga would manage to get the Russian to the ground and get in top position, he couldn’t find a submission or get off enough ground and pound to neutralize his foe. And on the feet, Emelianenko was lighting him up along the fence.
Where Gonzaga goes from here is anyone’s guess. He’s 1-5 in his last six fights, with the previous five coming in the UFC, to fighters including Derrick Lewis, Mirko Cro-Cop, and Stipe Miocic. His name still carries value, but whether he chooses to stick around for further paydays remains to be seen.
Aleksander Emelianenko, meanwhile, remains perfect since being released from prison after a rape conviction. He has now won four straight.
Also on the RCC card Saturday, standout Russian heavyweight Ivan Shtyrkov and Brazil’s Geronimo dos Santos fought to a draw in the co-main event.