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Tag: Takanori Gomi

Takanori Gomi Gets Second Chance at UFC Success Against Joe Stevenson in August

Takanori Gomi UFC Fight Night 21 weigh-ins
(Either he’s suffering from jet-lag, or he stayed up all night watching a Bad Girls Club marathon. / Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.)

After getting soundly handled by Kenny Florian last month, Takanori Gomi will get another chance to prove himself in the UFC — but it won’t be easy. As first reported by MMA Mania, the Fireball Kid will compete at the next "UFC on Versus" show (August 1st, Salt Lake City) against UFC lightweight contender Joe Stevenson. Though Stevenson is coming off a decision loss to George Sotiropolous at UFC 110, he looked better than ever in his previous victories over Spencer Fisher and Nate Diaz, and has to be thought of as the favorite in this matchup. It’s an absolute must-win for Gomi, who would likely be released by the UFC if he loses. Anybody think he’s got a shot?

Semi-related: Randy Couture is slated to appear on the UFC’s August 28th card in Boston, which has fired speculation that he will be facing former boxing champ James Toney, who he previously called dibs on. You’d better hope this doesn’t actually come together, Randy — this guy’s daddy was an original death fighter, for God’s sake…

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Exclusive: Kenny Florian Reflects on Victory Over Gomi and the Elusive Lightweight Title

Kenny Florian UFC Fight Night 21 Takanori Gomi
(Photo courtesy of MMAWeekly.)

By CagePotato contributor Elias Cepeda

Kenny Florian‘s domination of PRIDE legend Takanori Gomi at Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night 21 made a couple things perfectly clear: First, that Gomi can no longer hang with the division’s elite fighters. Also, that the constantly improving Florian is undoubtedly one of the very best 155-pounders in the world. In this exclusive interview, Ken-Flo takes us through his fight with the Fireball Kid, and discusses life in the UFC’s lightweight division, where the championship belt continues to lie maddeningly out of reach…

*****

CAGEPOTATO.COM: Very early on in your fight against Gomi, you began to get the better of him standing up. Soon you began dancing around, leaning over, dropping your hands. Was that just one of those things where you got so comfortable that you got a bit cocky, or were you trying to goad him into doing something in particular?
FLORIAN: No, it’s part of a rhythm. It’s a calculated part of a boxing rhythm you try to get yourself into to make sure that I keep my head moving and I stay loose. It’s a swagger you need to have. It’s my way of making sure that there is no catching me when I’m moving, when I’m punching, and it has really helped me, not only in my training, but I think in the fight to have that looseness and relaxation. I’ve just been working on my boxing technique a lot and I’m glad I was able to show that.

In the third round, Gomi landed what appeared to be his cleanest punch of the fight. A few seconds later you took him down, and about a minute later you finished him by choke. Was your plan to basically stand with Gomi until he showed you something, then put him on his back to make things easier for yourself?
Well I knew that he would start to get fatigued. He was losing the first two rounds and I knew he’d start to get desperate and he’d start to get upright. That was going to allow me the space and ability to get to his legs. And that’s what happened. I had planned to take him down in the third round, I knew that was going to happen, I knew he was going to get tired and he’d be easier to finish. By that time I think he was worn out, mentally, physically, and just didn’t have an answer, was frustrated. And I saw a perfect opportunity to go for his legs. I took him down and tried to capitalize.

So it didn’t have to do with him finally landing a good shot?
Not at all. He was landing shots before that, you know. He was able to sting me in the second round. In the third round there was nothing that hurt me. Watching the video tape it looked like that was the cleanest shot but that wasn’t the one that hurt. In the second round, that hurt.

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The Potato Index: UFC Fight Night 21 Aftermath


(Dutch punch-faces are the best, aren’t they? Photo courtesy of UFC.com)

Kenny Florian (Submission of the Night), Roy Nelson (KO of the Night) and the duo of Ross Pearson/Dennis Siver (Fight of the Night) pocketed $30,000 bonuses for their work on last night’s UFC Fight Night 21 event, but what’s money compared to the numbers of the Potato Index? Sure, maybe the Index’s arbitrary numerical rankings system can’t be exchanged for goods and services, but on the flip side, no one has ever accused the Index of being the root of all evil. Not yet, anyway.

Let’s see who’s up and who’s down on this fine Thursday morning.

Kenny Florian +74
Beating Gomi doesn’t mean quite as much as it once did, but Florian looked sharp, patient, and smart in victory. He probably still wouldn’t beat B.J. Penn, which makes him the second-best lightweight in the UFC. Guess it’s better than being the third-best.

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UFC Fight Night 21: Live Results and Pithy Commentary


(Don’t be afraid to stare. Roy Nelson is all man and he doesn’t care who knows it. Photo courtesy of UFC.com)

Hope you’ve got your bucket of Bojangles fried chicken and your usual Wednesday night energy drink/prescription allergy medication buzz, because Charlotte is ready to rock for UFC Fight Night 21. Tonight we find out whether Takanori Gomi still has any fireballs left in his arsenal, as well as whether Roy Nelson can find a way inside of Stefan Struve’s reach without having his face turned to mush. Keep it locked right here for live results and commentary, or else spend the rest of your life wondering whether you might have missed the best fat joke ever told.

Follow me after the jump, and remember to hit refresh often.

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‘UFC Fight Night 21: Florian vs. Gomi’: The New Guys


(Props: Genghis Con)

Tonight’s UFC Fight Night card will feature three fresh prospects trying to make their names and one MMA legend — all of whom will be competing in the UFC for the first time in their careers. Which ones will rise to the challenge, and which ones will succumb to Octagon jitters and dangerous opponents? Get to know them below and let us know what you think…

TAKANORI GOMI (LW)
Experience: 31-5-0 record w/1 no-contest, with multiple appearances in PRIDE, Shooto, and Sengoku. Notable victories over Tatsuya Kawajiri, Hayato Sakurai, Jens Pulver, and Mitsuhiro Ishida. Most recently won a unanimous decision over Tony Hervey at Vale Tudo Japan 2009 last October.
Will be fighting: Kenny Florian (12-4, 10-3 UFC)
Lowdown: Only the noobiest of TUF noobs would need an introduction to the Fireball Kid, who has already secured his place as one of the greatest lightweight fighters of all time. A legendary former champion in both PRIDE and Shooto, Gomi unfortunately hasn’t looked the same since his gogoplata loss/marijuana no-contest against Nick Diaz in February 2007, as he’s suffered a couple of surprising defeats and struggled to put away opponents that he would have smashed in his prime. Though he vows to "create a ruckus" in the UFC, this bit of info is somewhat troubling: "I don’t have a cage in my gym, but I understand that the cage can either be used for me or be used against me. I’ll try not to think about the cage too much as I fight in it.” He’ll also need to adjust to elbow strikes on the ground, something he hasn’t had to deal with in Japan — which could become a painful factor against Ken-Flo.

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I’m Sorry Mr. Gomi, Are We Boring You?


(Photo courtesy of Combat Lifestyle.)

Well, the first of two weigh-ins for Wednesday night’s UFC Fight Night 21 on Spike TV went off without a hitch.  Now the boys have to worry about weigh-in number two tomorrow morning, where they can’t be more than thirteen pounds heavier than the official weight they clocked in at today. 

It’s an interesting policy to try and ensure that fighters aren’t cutting too much weight, but if they’re re-weighing them again in the morning, whether than right before fight time, you have to wonder whether it will really achieve the desired result.  Also, thirteen pounds seems pretty arbitrary.  For lightweights, it’s a pretty decent amount of leeway, but what if "Big Country" wants to hit the buffet?  Who does North Carolina think they are that they can tell him when to put down the fork?  That’s a decision that is between Roy and God.

Full weigh-in results are after the jump.

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: UFC Fight Night 21


(Welcome to Kenny Florian’s den of debauchery. Enter with an open mind, and leave your innocence at the door. Photo courtesy of Combat Lifestyle.)

After a successful weekend that saw your old pal the Enabler totally nail his official parlay pick, it’s time to reload for Wednesday’s “Florian vs. Gomi” Fight Night event live from the (not really) historic Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina. Let’s look at some lines, courtesy of BestFightOdds.com:

Kenny Florian (-275) vs. Takanori Gomi (+275)
Roy Nelson (-290) vs. Stefan Struve (+270)
Ross Pearson (-200) vs. Dennis Siver (+183)
Nate Quarry (-245) vs. Jorge Rivera (+220)
Andre Winner (-169) vs. Rafaello Oliveira (+150)
Jacob Volkmann (+220) vs. Ronnys Torres (-231)
Rob Emerson (+113) vs. Nik Lentz (-140)
Caol Uno (+251) vs. Gleison Tibau (-265)
Yushin Okami (-500) vs. Lucio Linhares (+450)
Gerald Harris (-155) vs. Mario Miranda (+130)
Charlie Brenneman (+150) vs. Jason High (-180)

The breakdown…

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MMA FightPicker Update: Enter Your Pools Now for ‘Florian vs. Gomi’

UFC Fight Night 21 Florian Gomi Nelson Struve

Another big week on MMA FightPicker is in the books, and would you believe that Ben and Ben ended up tied for 2nd place (along with Geriatric Peon) in their pool? I guess that’s what happens when you make the exact same selections. Who knew. Celebrity guest-picker Roy Nelson did about as well, and we applaud him for predicting Ricardo Almeida’s win over Matt Brown, as well as the lack of an early stoppage in St. Pierre/Hardy. Speaking of Nelson, Big Country makes his next Octagon appearance this Wednesday at UFC Fight Night 21: Florian vs. Gomi, which goes down at the Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte. The event will be broadcast on Spike TV at 8 p.m. ET/PT, and will lead in to the season premiere of TUF 11.

How does this affect you as a FightPicker player? Well, you only have until Wednesday afternoon to enter this week’s pools and make your selections, so get your e-asses in gear and make it happen. There are no prizes up for grabs this time around; we’ll announce the winners of last week’s iPad pools as soon as we have them. Let’s take a look at the questions that are currently in play…

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Exclusive: Kenny Florian Talks Takanori Gomi, Diego Sanchez, and More

Kenny Florian

by Cage Potato contributor Elias Cepeda

After a dominant win over Clay Guida, Kenny Florian is setting his sights on UFC newcomer and former Pride champ Takanori Gomi.  In the exclusive talk with Cage Potato, he gives us his thoughts on the match-up, and lets us know how he really feels about seeing his old nemesis Diego Sanchez fleeing the lightweight division.

Fans have followed your twitter posts and saw you yesterday on ESPN’s “MMA Live” talking about fighting Takanori Gomi. Has anything developed further since then? Is the fight officially signed by all parties?

No nothing has been signed as of right now. We’re in talks and its being talked about as a main event of the March Fight Night card in North Carolina. I’m excited with that possibility but nothing has been signed yet. Of course it’s something that I’m willing to sign and I’m sure Gomi will as well when the contract has been delivered.

Were you surprised when it was announced that Gomi was signed by the UFC? He’s struggled since 2006 when he lost to Marcus Aurelio.

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Florian vs. Gomi For Fight Night 21? Sure, Why Not


(Howler Monkey vs. former sensation, who ya got?)

One of our favorite aspects of Twitter is watching people try, and then inevitably fail, to keep a secret.  It never gets old.  For instance, first the official "MMA Live" Twitter posts a teaser that Kenny Florian will be revealing when his fight with former Pride star and UFC newcomer Takanori Gomi will take place.  Sounds like a reason to watch the show, right?  Then right after that they tell us it’s at UFC Fight Night 21 on March 31st.  So, you know, mystery solved.

In any event, here’s a fight worth getting pumped about.  Florian is coming off his crushing loss to B.J. Penn, (edit: and the ensuing Clay Guida win, duh) but as he told us last month, he’s been working with Firas Zahabi, trying some new things, and itching for a fight.  Matching him up with Gomi right off the bat tells us that the UFC isn’t interested in letting "The Fireball Kid" start slow against some former TUFers and work his way up to the top of the division.  Instead it’s sink or swim, and right away. 

It’s been a couple years since Gomi has looked really impressive, but will his move to the UFC and a little training time at AKA be enough to spark a career renaissance?  Or is Florian too well-rounded for Gomi to overcome in his first Octagon appearance? 

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