Travis Browne delivered a barrage of lethal elbows to end Gabriel Gonzaga's night at the 1:11 mark of the opening round of their heavyweight contest at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale.
Browne missed a high kick right out of the gate, and Gonzaga immediately went for a takedown. Browne then found himself pressed up against the cage, worked his left under hook to fend off the takedown attempt and with his free hand, delivered the lethal array of elbows to get the finish and "Knockout of the Night" bonus.
What we will remember about this fight
Nothing too memorable in a fight that only lasts a little over a minute, but we are reminded that in the heavyweight division, any fighter's night can end in an instant. Browne struck first and struck hard to end Gonzaga's two-fight win streak.
What we learned about Travis Browne
We learned that Browne's left leg was fully recovered from the hamstring injury he suffered during the Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva fight, and that he lacked no confidence in it after immediately opening the fight with a left high kick.
Browne proved that he is still one of the better heavyweights in the UFC—and if not for the loss to Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva—could already be ranked in the top 10 of the division.
He needed a win and went out and got it done in exciting fashion, earning an extra $50,000 in the process.
What we learned about Gabriel Gonzaga
We learned that Gonzaga sold out for too long on his takedown attempt of Browne, and it cost him dearly. He did look great in winning his first two fights back under the UFC umbrella, but once up against stiff competition, we are reminded now that his best days are clearly behind him.
What's next for Travis Browne
An asterisk most likely needs to be placed next to his loss vs. "Bigfoot" Silva. That being said, he still has to earn his way into the upper echelon. A fight against the winner of Stipe Miocic vs. Soa Paleli, Roy Nelson vs. Cheick Kongo or Pat Barry vs. Shawn Jordan sounds about right.
What's next for Gabriel Gonzaga
If he doesn’t receive a pink slip—which is highly likely even after one loss nowadays—maybe he gets another fight against the loser of the fights mentioned above, Phil De Fries or the loser of Shane Del Rosario vs. Dave Herman.