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Gomi Says It’s Necessary to Train Full-Time in the U.S. if He’s Going to Compete in America

(Video courtesy YouTube/Fight!)

As impressive as Takanori Gomi’s knockout win over Tyson Griffin was last night at UFC Live on Versus 2, I think it might be somewhat premature to jump on the bandwagon that a lot of reporters have seemed to have piled onto since last night by making claims like Fight! Magazine’s Danny Acosta that the "old Takanori Gomi is back" and that he was "the biggest star in PRIDE."

Even Gomi,  seems like he wants to further prove himself and obviously he feels that he has improvements to make, which he thinks will only come to fruition if he trains Stateside to learn the "American style of fighting" he referred to in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan after his win last night.

"If I’m going to compete seriously here, I think [a move to America to train] is almost going to be necessary. I’ll probably wind up training full-time in the U.S… In regards to who I fight next, I’ve thought about it, but there’s no easy fighter [in the UFC]. They’re all tough. Whoever I fight is going to be a tough fight, so I’m not really spending a lot of time saying, ‘I’d prefer to have this guy or that guy’. Whoever I get, I get," Gomi explains. "Moving forward, the goal of my training is going to be to delight the fans and not let them down. I think they’re on my side and I want to give them a good show every time. My goal for the next fight is to show them something more than I was able to show them next fight.

A lot of fans and pundits who were waiting to call the time of death of Japanese mixed martial arts last night were watching Gomi and fellow countryman Yushin Okami‘s fights very closely with scrutinizing eyes, but "Thunder" and "The Fireball Kid" were able to defibrillate JMMA — at least temporarily —  and now the same naysayers who had their hearses idling outside the San Diego Sports Arena are conducting their Internet victory parades.

Cognizant of what was riding on his performance last night, Gomi, who earned "Knockout of the Night" honors for his effort, says that if he can continue to win in the Octagon, he will be able to return home to Japan — where much has been made in recent years of the rivalry between their fighters and those from the U.S. — a hero.

"This is the major leagues of major league, so if I can reach the top here and be a returning hero to Japan and introduce UFC there, that would be like a lifetime goal [for me]," Gomi says. "That would be great."

Cagepotato Comments

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Sabado Gigante- August 2, 2010 at 1:31 pm
Gomi didn't knock Griffin out...

What happened was, Griffin spotted Jake ShieldzZzZZz in the crowd and, well, you know...
NealTaflinger- August 2, 2010 at 12:48 pm
To be fair, I think Danny meant he was the biggest Japanese star in Pride, but that's all subjective anyway.
Dick_Gozenya- August 2, 2010 at 11:53 am
I was happy to see Gomi notch a W. I felt like he needed time to get solid footing in the US to show where he was at due to his sporadic schedule of the last few years. I was worried that if he lost to Griffin, even if it was a tough and close fight, the UFC would cut him. It seems like they like crushing old stars as much as they like watching them shine.
El Guapo- August 2, 2010 at 11:38 am
Gomi should've knocked his ass out again for acting like a punk after the fight, refusing to shake hands and what not. I understand that Griffin was pissed about the stoppage and all, but that's on the ref. And like you guys already mentioned, he was OUT! He should be thanking the ref, if anything..

What's up with the Fightpicker? The pool I'm in is frozen.
BrutusBox- August 2, 2010 at 11:20 am
congrats to CP for the shout out last night on the Daily Line
Deadpanda- August 2, 2010 at 11:10 am
@Almost North: "We eventually settled on this: If you can't protect yourself from gravity you can't protect yourself from the other fighter."

Well put.
Ballkick- August 2, 2010 at 11:09 am
When Gomi landed that shot I believe my exact words were: holy fuck,.....WOW!
I am working on expanding my vocabulary.
Almost North- August 2, 2010 at 10:45 am
That faceplant was epic. My friend turns to me in the bar and says "I don't think he was out".
I said he didn't even try to break his fall.

We eventually settled on this: If you can't protect yourself from gravity you can't protect yourself from the other fighter.
MMA Mafia- August 2, 2010 at 10:40 am
He was all mad too. Even in real time when we were all watching the fight it was easy to see he was out before he face planted. The only reason he woke back up was because the ground interrupted his nap.
Smitty- August 2, 2010 at 10:39 am
Unless he really improves, he'll just be a big name gate keeper. Ken Flo killed that dude, and now he KO's Griffin. Sounds like a middle of the roader to me.
Kid Clam Curtains- August 2, 2010 at 10:19 am
I have to admit I liked seeing Gomi KTFO Griffin. Not that i don't like griffin.
BONGTAR- August 2, 2010 at 10:16 am
dude looked good against a dude who usually looks good.