In July 2012, Gabriel received an offer to fight Lerdsila Chumpairtour (135-15-5) at the K-1 Rising event in Los Angeles on September 8th. Gabriel was quick to accept the fight and sign his first contract with a world renown kickboxing organization. In Gabriel's K-1 debut he defeated Lerdsila by unanimous decision and in round 1 landed a spinning backfist that knocked the thai fighter down. Unfortunately the knockdown was ruled a slip but after watching video footage it was clear that no slip was involved. After the fight world renown kickboxing ring announcer Vinny Shoreman stated of Gabriel, "Not often do I say this. I did when I saw Petrosyan and Liam Harrison and (Gabriel is) the next big thing. An excellent talent and rare to see. I was mesmerised by (his) tenacity and energy. (He is) a superstar; that I promise you."