Gonzaga tried to touch gloves to start the fight, but Mitrione declined. Mitrione bounced on the outside, light on his feet. Gonzaga stayed tight in his stance in the center of the cage.
Gonzaga moved into the pocked and walked into a combination. A left hook caught him clean on the chin and he crumbled to the canvas. Mitrione finished with a series of shots on the ground.
“I’m on top of the world. I feel that I’m one of the best in the world and I can’t wait to show it,” said the 36-year-old following the win. “I cut my teeth here and I grew up and made my mistakes and made my success here. I can’t wait to show the world that the investment they made in me was worth it.”
The knockout finish was Mitrione’s either. It ties him for the second most knockout finishes in UFC heavyweight history with former titleholder Andrei Arlovski. Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez holds the record with nine.
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