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January 18, 2013

Team Link Strong and Hopeful for 2013 Start

[Written By Jesse Camp]

Ludlow, Ma – The professional world of mixed martial arts (mma) is undeniably alive and well in Western Massachusetts but Team Link Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s top pro mma fighters will be far  from home as they look to secure important wins to open the 2013 season.

Leading it all off, Team Link’s #1 heavy-weight, Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga, has been hailed and will take the fight overseas back to his homeland. The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt will make his  fourteenth appearance inside the UFC Octagon Saturday Night in the UFC on FX 7 in Sao Paulo,  Brazil. Gonzaga, a Brazilian native and Team Link Coach and Co-Owner, now with 13 wins and 6  losses (8-5 UFC), returns to the cage against “Big” Ben Rothwell (32-8 MMA, 2-2 UFC) as part of  a 4-fight main card event airing Saturday, January 19th at 9:00 PM on FX. Coming off of a submission win almost exactly one year prior at UFC 142 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Gonzaga looks to  do it again.

Team Link Head Coach, Marco Alvan, was confident of Gonzaga’s rounded skill set and  preparation while making it clear that the team’s backbone encompasses the discipline of top  level Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. While both Gonzaga and Alvan run what could arguably be called the #1  grappling school in New England, goals of 2013 include wins in the UFC and much more. Alvan  said he’d like to “end the year with another 2-4 UFC Fighters” and again earn the NAGA born  title of “Overall Best Team in New England” for the fourteenth consecutive time. As both the  member and fighter roster continue to grow with the addition of a new 8,000 square foot state  of the art training facility in Ludlow, Alvan’s focus right now, like Gonzaga’s, is completely on  Ben Rothwell Saturday night. Gonzaga said that with a favorable performance over Rothwell, he could begin the course of  securing succession wins in order to “earn a title shot.” While the birth of his two children,  Isabella (7) and Felipe (5), will always be his life highlight, Gonzaga said that fighting Randy  Couture for the UFC Heavy-Weight Title in UFC 74 was a career highlight and an honor.  Gonzaga said that he would like to make another run for a UFC title shot but that right now, “the focus is on Rothwell.”

Beyond the scope of Brazil and FX 7, Team Link has a line-up of more big pro fights featuring  Gonzaga’s teammates such as M-1 Global and Shooto Veteran, Abner “Skullman” Lloveras, UFC  TUF 16 Semi Finalist, welter-weight Jon “Super” Manley, and the “Factory of Champions” prodigy, Kemran Lachinov. Lloveras will wave the Team Link flag on February 1st in a title fight  for CES at the Twin Rivers Casino in Lincoln, RI along with Lachinov making his Pro Debut on the  same card. Meanwhile, Manley prepares for his UFC Debut on February 23rd in UFC 157 in  Anaheim, CA. Alvan said that each of the fighters are maintaining a very regimented training  camp specific to their matches and that they are hopeful that these season openers will end  with favorable dispositions. For more information and updates visit or

-Jesse Camp-

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