by Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com
Junior Dos Santos continued his rise to the top tier of the UFC heavyweight division by knocking out former top contender Gabriel Gonzaga in the first round of their UFC on Versus match.
Both fighters were feeling each other out in the opening moments, sizing the other up and gauging their distance. Gonzaga was able to briefly get the fight to canvas but Dos Santos immediately bounced back to his feet.
In the standing position, neither seemed to have a clear edge. Gonzaga was moving forward but Dos Santos’ speed and ability to get in and out was noticeable.
Dos Santos landed a counter left hand off a Gonzaga leg kick that sent the 30-year old crashing on his backside. The 25-year old swooped in and finished with strikes on the ground leaving Gonzaga unconscious.
“I threw my punch when he kicked me, and that’s it,” Dos Santos commented following the fight. “If you guys like to watch good knockouts, I’m here to give you good knockouts.”
With the win, Dos Santos has solidified himself as a contender, and wants fights with the best fighters in the world.
“I want to fight with the best,” said Dos Santos. “I think I’m ready. I’m ready for a title shot if the UFC wants. I’m ready.”
Dos Santos remains undefeated in the UFC and extends his winning streak to five. The only blemish on his professional record came in Nov. 2007.