MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: Takanori Gomi

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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Report: Takanori Gomi Signs With the UFC


(Takanori Gomi wins the PRIDE lightweight title by knocking out Hayato Sakurai at Shockwave 2005.)

This would have been incredible if it happened three or four years ago, but hey, better late than never, right? According to MMA Fighting, lightweight legend Takanori Gomi has signed a multi-fight contract with the UFC; no word yet on the date of his debut or who his first opponent will be. Gomi visited the States last month to meet with the UFC and Strikeforce, and take in a training session at American Kickboxing Academy.

Holding a record of 31-5, Gomi is best known for his dominant run in PRIDE from 2004-2006, where he won the organization’s lightweight belt and took out such notable fighters as Jens Pulver, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Hayato Sakurai, and Mitsuhiro Ishida. However, his last PRIDE appearance was a shock gogoplata loss to Nick Diaz in February ’07, and he then went 2-2 in Sengoku, dropping matches to Sergey Golyaev and Satoru Kitoka; after the Kitaoka loss, Gomi began to question his training and motivation. Though Gomi has won his last two bouts, he hasn’t been facing the kind of top-level competition that he regularly enjoyed at his peak. Will the UFC’s talent-rich lightweight class re-ignite the Fireball Kid, or will he join Mirko Cro Cop and Wanderlei Silva in the PRIDE Curse Club?

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Videos: Gomi, Sato from Vale Tudo Japan 2009


(Rumina Sato vs. Cory Grant, 10/30/09)

You may have been too busy putting the finishing touches on your half-assed pop culture-referencing costume to notice, but Takanori Gomi was one of several Japanese MMA fighters to get back into action at Vale Tudo Japan 2009 in Tokyo this past weekend.  The event also included Rumina Sato, who you see in the above video effectively using those pesky leg kicks to soften up Cory Grant before putting him away, and Takeshi Inoue, who dispatched former Shooto champ Alexandre Franca Nogueira with strikes in the fourth round.

Video of Gomi’s five-round battle with American Tony Hervey is after the jump.  It’s a pretty fun little scrap, and definitely worth watching.

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Takanori Gomi Draws Rafaello Oliveira for Affliction: Trilogy


(Rafaello "Tractor" Oliveira highlight reel. He’s handled Big Big and Fabio Fabio, but will he be able to handle the Fireball Kid?)

After a proposed catchweight bout between Takanori Gomi and Brett Cooper went up in smoke, Affliction has added a lightweight match between Gomi and Rafaello Oliveira to the Affliction: Trilogy fight card page of their official website. Gomi’s name has a suspicious-looking asterisk next to it, but the meaning of that asterisk isn’t defined, and the bout is being reported as official.

Gomi is coming off of a second-round KO victory over Takashi Nakakura at Shooto Tradition Final in May, which followed back-to-back losses in Sengoku. Oliveira has an 8-1 record, fighting mostly in regional leagues in Brazil and North America; he made one appearance in a ShoXC Challenger Series event last year, where he lost to Fancy Pants Beerbohm via doctor’s stoppage TKO. On paper, Oliveira should get crushed by Gomi. In reality…well, he’ll probably still get crushed. This matchup seems to have been made for the benefit of nostalgic PRIDE fans who want to see the Fireball Kid smoke somebody. The current Trilogy card — which is looking pretty damn entertaining from the main event to the prelims — is after the jump.

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Shooto “Final Tradition” Results and Videos: Gomi Beats Down Nakakura, Hirota Upsets Ishida


(Mizuto Hirota vs. Mitsuhiro Ishida; props to MMA Scraps)

Shooto’s "Final Tradition" event, held yesterday in Tokyo, produced an action-packed card that was highlighted by Takanori Gomi snapping his two-fight losing streak. The Fireball Kid looked fit and focused in his non-title-fight against Shooto welterweight champ Takashi Nakakura, getting the better of Nakakura in striking exchanges en route to a knockout victory at the end of the second round. In the night’s main event, Rumina Sato pushed the pace against Shooto lightweight champ Takeshi Inoue with a creative arsenal of striking, rocking Inoue with punches near the end of the first round, but Inoue hung on and managed to stop Sato in a shocking turnaround.

Elsewhere on the card, Mitsuhiro Ishida suffered a surprising loss against Mizuto Hirota, who flattened Ishida with a left hook just 90 seconds into their bout and threw down more punches until he scored the victory; it was arguably an early stoppage, as Ishida was trying to tie up Hirota’s legs and get to his feet when the ref stopped the fight. In the night’s sole women’s feature, undefeated submission buzzsaw Megumi Fujii tore through kickboxer Won Bu Chu in less than a minute.

Full results and videos of the Gomi, Inoue, and Fujii fights (courtesy of NelsaoCB) after the jump…

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Gomi, Ishida, Sato, Fujii In Action This Weekend at ‘Shooto Tradition Final’


(Megumi Fujii: 52 kilos of walking death.)

Yeah, we pretty much slept on this card since mentioning it once like two months ago — that’s our bad, and we’re just going to have to live with it — but Shooto Tradition is having its star-studded "Road to 20th Anniversary Final" show this Sunday in Tokyo, featuring lightweight PRIDE legend Takanori Gomi, unstoppable female fighter Megumi Fujii, and more big names. Unfortunately it won’t televised in the U.S., but we promise to get all the best fight vids up by Monday. Nightmare of Battle passes along the compete lineup, which is after the jump, and quite sick-looking…

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The 10 Fastest & Most Furious Knockouts of All Time: Gomi vs. Gracie

Fast & Furious MMA knockouts Takanori Gomi Ralph Gracie

#4: Takanori Gomi vs. Ralph Gracie @ PRIDE Bushido 3 (5/23/04), 6 seconds

Known for his very un-Gracie-like hard-charging style, Ralph Gracie racked up five-straight first-round stoppages in vale tudo matches during the ‘90s before re-entering competition in 2003 to test himself against modern mixed martial artists. But his PRIDE debut against Dokonjonosuke Mishima at Bushido 1 didn’t go so well — he only won by decision — and he returned to the ring seven months later ready to murder somebody. And that babyfaced little Japanese dude in the red corner, who Ralph’s student BJ Penn had choked out the year before? Yeah, he’d do. But Gracie was a little too anxious to get out there and kick ass (as evidenced by his refusal to touch gloves), and when he shot in right after the bell, his jaw ricocheted off Gomi’s knee; the Fireball Kid took over from there. This was the fight that officially put Gomi on the map — and served as the final six seconds in Ralph Gracie’s MMA career.

CLICK HERE FOR THE VIDEO…

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Gomi Looks to Recover His Fire in Shooto

Takanori Gomi MMA Kitaoka Sengoku Japan
(Satoru Kitaoka finishes Takanori Gomi at "Sengoku no Ran 2009" in January. I’m not sure feet are supposed to bend that way.)

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:

Shooto will hold the final event in their Tradition series (celebrating 20 years of Shooto) in May. The event will take place in JCB Hall, where also the first "Tradition" event took place…Former champion Takanori Gomi will return to Shooto and will take on the current [154-pound] champion Takashi Nakakura in what should be an awesome fight. Nakakura is on a 5 fight winning streak and has not lost since August 2005 when he fought Mitsuhiro Ishida.

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.

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