Before he rose to international fame as PRIDE’s most dominant lightweight, Takanori Gomi was a local hero in Japan’s Shooto league, where he reigned as the 154-pound champ from December 2001 to August 2003. Now, after two upset losses to Sergey Golyaev and Satoru Kitaoka in Sengoku, the Fireball Kid is heading back to his roots. Writes Japan MMA:
As we learned recently, Gomi’s head hasn’t been in the game for a while, so maybe a stint on a smaller, familiar stage will help him find his confidence and regain his competitive spark. Of course, the fight with Nakakura is a must-win for Gomi’s career, and the current Shooto champ is no pushover. Can Gomi get his balls back, or will he join the ever-growing club of former PRIDE legends whose skills have mysteriously evaporated? (President: Wanderlei Silva / Treasurer: Mirko Cro Cop) Nakakura’s last fight, a rear-naked choke victory over Bendy Casimir, is after the jump.