The only heavyweight tilt at UFC 162 sees former top contender Gabriel Gonzaga (14-7 MMA, 9-6 UFC) fight Dave Herman (21-5 MMA, 1-3 UFC) on the FX preliminary card tonight from Las Vegas, Nevada. Gonzaga is replacing the injured Shane Del Rosario. This is Herman's first fight since his UFC 153 drug suspension.
Given Gonzaga's age and notable decline combined with Herman's losing streak and failed drug tests, this is almost certain to be a "loser leaves town" matchup. Herman is the more athletic fighter with knockout power, but Gonzaga is a threat both standing and on the ground. The FX prelims start at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT and the main card commences at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT.
How do these two stack up?
Herman: 28 years old | 6'5" | 77" reach
Gonzaga: 34 years old | 6'1" | 76" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Herman racked up a string of impressive stoppage wins before earning the UFC call, including against Kerry Schall, Ron Waterman, and Don Frye. He took on Jon Olav Einemo at UFC 131, winning FOTN honors and a 2nd round TKO. That's been just about his only inkling of success in the UFC, as he's lost his last 3, including by submission to Big Nog at UFC 153, disproving his statement that "jiu jitsu doesn't work on me". Herman has tested positive for marijuana twice, including after the Big Nog loss, and there's zero possibility that "Peewee" will be retained if he loses tonight.
There was a time when Gabriel Gonzaga was one of the best heavyweights in the world. The BJJ black belt memorably won by head kick KO against Mirko Cro Cop at UFC 70 to earn a title shot vs. Randy Couture, which he lost by 4th round TKO. His performance dropped off significantly (3-4 post-Couture fight) and he was eventually released from the promotion. The Brazilian won one fight outside of the UFC before being brought back in 2012. After submitting Ednaldo Oliveira and Ben Rothwell, Gonzaga was knocked out by Travis Browne's standing elbows this past April. An appeal to the Nevada State Athletic Commission stating that the finishing blows were to the back of the head were later rejected.
Why should you care?
They'll probably be fighting with a sense of urgency and both men are highly susceptible to being finished. I understand that B and C class heavyweights aren't everyone's cup of tea but Herman and Gonzaga are normally entertaining.