LUDLOW, Mass. (WGGB) — As popularity of the UFC grows, one local MMA fighter is looking to make his mark in this weekend’s pay-per-view event
For those unfamiliar with the world of mixed martial arts, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, or UFC, can be seen as just brutal violence, but for the students and trainers here at Team Link in Ludlow, it is much more than that.
Team Link is the brainchild of UFC heavyweight Gabriel Gonzaga and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Master Marco Alvan.
Starting out in Alvan’s basement in 2005, Link has grown to ten different training locations throughout New England, offering a range of of martial arts classes to a broad audience.
“I believe anyone can do it. We have kids as young as three and four years old..boys, girls. Our oldest student is 73-years-old,” says James Soffen, manager at Team Link.
Pretty much anything can happen in an MMA fight, but while most of these guys train for months, a fight can be over in just a matter of seconds
Gonzaga knows that fact all too well, as he ended his last fight in UFC 162 in just 17 seconds. That’s good enough for the third fastest knockout by a heavyweight in UFC history, which is pretty impressive for someone now focusing on his finesse fighting game.
“I wasnt expecting a win like that. I was expecting to win with my grappling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu game and it just happens because I was training for everything…trying to be prepared for wherever the fight goes,” says Gonzaga.
Gonzaga will look to build off his latest win this Saturday in Houston when he takes on former LSU fullback Shawn Jordan in UFC 166 and whether it be in 17 seconds or five full rounds, Gonzaga is prepared for anything.
“I need to be prepared for all different games in my next fight and I cannot wait to go. The goal is just to end the fight. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. You just have to finish the fight,” Gonzaga explains.
You can watch Gonzaga’s bout with Jordan Saturday night on pay-per-view.