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Tag: Takanori Gomi

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?


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.


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.


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…


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…


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.



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.


Gomi Is Depressed

(Sometimes you have only one friend, and he’s somewhere at the bottom of that next mug of beer.)

In a recent interview with Sportsnavi (via Suki) Takanori Gomi talks about his fall from the top of the lightweight division and his loss to Satoru Kitaoka (video here, and it doesn’t take long) in the Sengoku lightweight Grand Prix.  Give him credit for owning up to his poor performance, as Gomi more or less says that he has sucked lately and doesn’t seem entirely hopeful that things will get better.

As you saw, I couldn’t do anything. I suppose fans who knew me since PRIDE considered that I looked like a totally different person. I don’t even know why. I didn’t feel any energy in the ring. After the fight, I felt like I was free. I thought I fulfilled my duty.
- Do you mean that you resigned from a representer of the top lightweight fighter?
I suppose so. I hadn’t proven myself in the last few fights. I was training, yet everything was fall in apart. I couldn’t put together because my training wasn’t enough. My skills went down in the last 2 years. I experienced a lot in the last 2 years. I quit Kiguchi dojo without thinking well, and started my gym. I felt responsibility to take care of my students, and I was passive about my fight. I was just waiting and see who I fought with.
- The title of the tournament was “road to Gomi”
I have no excuse about my performance and my loss. Kitaoka was entirely better than me. I I hope he becomes a great champion and defends his title.

Gomi Loses Again, Santiago and Silva Score Wins at Sengoku “Rebellion 2009″

(Kitaoka vs. Gomi)

Not that Sengoku lightweight grand prix winner Satoru Kitaoka was some scrub that Takanori Gomi was going to run over, but few people expected Kitaoka to give the Fireball Kid the quickest loss of his career. Yet that’s what happened today at Sengoku’s "Rebellion 2009" card in Saitama, Japan, as Gomi found himself on the painful end of a heel-hook before the two-minute mark. That makes it five impressive wins in a row for rising star Kitaoka — who is now Sengoku’s lightweight champion — and the third loss in five fights for Gomi, whose legendary reputation takes another tough hit.

In the event’s middleweight championship bout, Jorge Santiago put Kazuo Misaki to sleep with a rear-naked choke at the 3:26 mark of the fifth round; if Misaki made it to the bell, he would have likely won the decision after a grueling war that saw the "Grabaka Hitman" dominate Santiago with his striking.

In heavyweight action, Antonio Silva’s suspension-defying matchup with Yoshihiro "Kiss" Nakao ended in disappointing fashion, as Nakao’s knee gave out early in the first round after a couple of brief exchanges. Also, heralded up-and-comer Dave Herman took his first loss after being overwhelmed by punches in the second round of his match against Korean PRIDE vet Mu Bae Choi. Full results and more videos are after the jump…


Sengoku 7 Set to Pop Off

(Let’s hurry this up. Gomi has to get back to slinging dope in the park. Photo courtesy of Sengoku.)

Everyone made weight for this weekend’s World Victory Road Sengoku event in Japan, which means it’s all systems go for Antonio Silva to officially give the finger to the California State Athletic Commission by fighting overseas while under suspension back in the states.  Silva will have a good thirty-five pounds on Yoshihiro “Kiss” Nakao when they step in the ring, though most of that weight is located in his chin.

Also of note, Takanori Gomi attempts to put his recent decision loss behind him (see video) as he takes on Satoru Kitaoka for the Sengoku lightweight title.  Meanwhile, the guy who beat Gomi, Sergey Golyaev, gets stuck on the undercard.  Real nice. 

In what might be the best fight of the night, Jorge Santiago squares off with Kazuo Misaki for the middleweight strap.  Dave “Pee Wee” Herman and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal are also both on the card, and don’t worry, King Mo is prepared for inclement weather.

Full weigh-in results after the jump.