Gabriel Braga comes into this bout with a heavy heart, his first fight since the tragic loss of his father, Diego Braga Alves, in January. Braga, the striking specialist, earned a PFL contract after the PFL Challenger Series last year, defeating Ago Huskic. Braga went through Jesus Pinedo, Marlon Moraes and Chris Wade during 2023 to reach the championship matchup. Unfortunately there, he suffered an upset loss in a rematch with Pinedo.


An accomplished wrestler coming out of Colorado, Justin Gonzales turned pro in 2016 after going 9-0 on the amateur MMA circuit. A regional champion at featherweight, Gonzales signed with Bellator in 2021, going 3-3 in the promotion. Gonzales, who enters this fight at 14-3 with five finishes, most recently fought at Bellator 301, dropping a decision to now-fellow PFL fighter Timur Khizriev.


Who will make the most of their moment in the PFL SmartCage tonight as they start their seasons?



Round 1


Braga with a front kick to start. Another kick from Braga. Gonzales lands a low kick. Braga with a low kick. Right hand from Braga is blocked. Low kick from Gonzales. Gonzales blocks a Braga front kick. High kick from Braga is blocked. Both men just deal out single shots. Takedown attempt from Gonzales is defended. Combination from Gonzales. Low kick from Gonzales. Low kick from Borics. Gonzales gets his hands around Braga and brings the fight to the ground.


Left hand by Braga to the face of Gonzales. Gonzales lands a few left hands. Gonzales lands a couple of knees to the leg of Braga. Gonzales continues the knee attack. Braga tries to stand up, but Gonzales prevents it. Braga finally gets to his feet with about 50 seconds left. Right hand from Gonzales is blocked. Braga misses a couple of kicks and a one-two. Low kick from Gonzales. Front kick from Braga. Right before the bell sounds, Braga lands a hook THAT DROPS GONZALES!



Gabriel Braga is in tears; the emotions flowing with his father’s memory in mind. An incredible, emotional finish right before the end of the first round! What a finish!





Gabriel Braga defeats Justin Gonzales by 1st Round KO (4:59) in a featherweight regular season bout