Gomi in 2007
September 22, 1978 |
|Other names||The Fireball Kid|
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Weight||155 lb (70 kg; 11 st 1 lb)|
|Reach||70 in (178 cm)|
|Style||Catch wrestling, Boxing|
|Fighting out of||Tokyo, Japan|
American Kickboxing Academy
Kiguchi Dojo (2000-2006)
K'z Factory (1998-2000)
|Years active||1998-present (MMA)|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Takanori Gomi (五味隆典 Gomi Takanori , born September 22, 1978), is a Japanese mixed martial artist currently fighting in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Gomi is a former Shooto Welterweight Champion and was the last and only Pride Lightweight Champion. He is also a four-time All Japan Combat Wrestling champion. During his time in Pride he was considered to be the top Lightweight fighter in the world.
Gomi was born in Kanagawa, Japan in 1978. He started boxing at Sagamihara Yonekura Gym in 1994 while he was attending Kanagawa Prefectural Aikawa Higashi Junior High School. Gomi was very athletic and was the pitcher of the school's baseball team, but dropped out of high school in 1996 when he failed to pass on to the next grade. This caused an argument between Gomi and his father who disowned him as a result of the incident. Gomi then went on to learn freestyle wrestling and catch wrestling at Kiguchi Dojo and competed in many wrestling tournaments throughout Japan, the pinnacle of his grappling career being his four All Japan Combat Wrestling championships, in which he defeated a number of the nation's top grapplers, future opponent Mitsuhiro Ishida amongst them.
Mixed martial arts career 
Gomi joined the official Shooto gym in 1997 where he began training and taking part in the amateur Shooto competitions. He made his professional mixed martial arts debut on November 27, 1998 at Shooto Las Grandes Viajes 6 in Tokyo, where he defeated Hiroshi Tsuruya by decision. Gomi won his first 14 MMA matches, mostly in the Shooto organization, but also fought in Vale Tudo Japan and in the Hawaiian-based organization SuperBrawl.
Gomi became the Shooto world welterweight champion in 2001 after defeating former teammate Rumina Sato by unanimous decision on December 16. Gomi then defeated highly regarded American grappler Chris Brennan on September 16, 2002 via unanimous decision. He also defended the Shooto crown in 2002, beating Dokonjonosuke Mishima by TKO in the second round.
Gomi's first loss was also his last fight in Shooto in six years. It took place on August 10, 2003 at the Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium. Gomi lost his title to Norwegian fighter Joachim Hansen by majority decision. This loss was considered a huge upset at the time due to Hansen's 6–1–1 record in MMA.
Rumble on the Rock 
Gomi then fought Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veteran, former UFC welterweight champion, and former UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn on October 10, 2003 at the Rumble on the Rock 4 event in Honolulu, Hawaii. His first fight under unified rules, Gomi was defeated in the third round by rear naked choke.
Pride Fighting Championships 
After back-to-back losses, Gomi found a new home in Japan's biggest MMA organization, the Pride Fighting Championships. He made his debut within the organization on February 15, 2004 at Pride Bushido 2 where he fought Jadyson Costa of the famed Chute Boxe team out of Brazil. Gomi stopped Costa via TKO halfway through the first round.
Gomi was asked back to Pride to face off with the undefeated Ralph Gracie at Pride Bushido 3. Gracie was the first coach of B.J. Penn, one of Gomi's losses. Unlike his fight with Penn, Gomi made quick work of Gracie, scoring a six second KO in the first round- the quickest match in the organization's history, due to repeated knee strikes.
Gomi remained within the Bushido series, fighting and defeating both Fabio Mello and Charles "Crazy Horse" Bennett in the first round at Pride Bushido 4 and Pride Bushido 5. Mello later noted that, "Apart from being a good wrestler and a fine striker, Gomi knows how to defend on the ground. He is a complete fighter who, due to his MMA experience, grows as the bout unfolds."
Gomi started off 2005 with a win over Luiz Azeredo at Pride Bushido 7. Azeredo dominated the fight from the opening bell with knees, punches, and flying kicks, but at the 3:46 mark of the first round, Gomi caught Luiz with two hooks that sent the Chute Boxe fighter to the mat. Gomi was then criticized for continuing to attack, even after Azeredo became unconscious, and was restrained by Dream Stage Entertainment (DSE) crew and staff. The Chute Boxe team stormed the ring and got into an altercation with Kiguchi Dojo. Gomi later stated that the extracurricular attack was due to adrenaline and apologized for his actions.
Wanting to capitalize on the altercation at Pride Bushido 7 and Gomi's wins over Chute Boxe team members Jadson Costa and Luiz Azeredo, Pride set Gomi up with Chute Box lightweight and Cage Rage champion Jean Silva at Pride Bushido 8. Gomi won the fight by unanimous decision, securing an armbar in the waning seconds of the fight.
In August, Pride announced that in the month of September they would be hosting an eight-man lightweight tournament. The first round set up Gomi with fellow Japanese fighter and then Shooto world welterweight champion Tatsuya Kawajiri. This fight was billed "the battle of the twenty first century boys" in Japan due to the popularity and world-class match up of the two fighters. Many MMA critics had Gomi ranked number one and Kawajiri number two in the lightweight division. Gomi submitted Kawajiri in the first round with a rear naked choke. Gomi then had to fight again later that night in the semi-finals against Luiz Azeredo. Gomi won via unanimous decision, becoming a finalist in the 2005 Lightweight Grand Prix.
Gomi met the other finalist, Hayato Sakurai, at Pride Shockwave 2005. Sakurai and Gomi were teammates at the official Shooto gym back in the late 90's. Sakurai defeated Jens Pulver and Joachim Hansen to reach the finals. After some exchanges on their feet, Sakurai tried to take Gomi down with a hip toss, but on the way down, Gomi ended up on top in the mount. "The Fireball Kid" began to rain down punches, and after taking a lot of shots Sakurai twisted to escape, giving his back to Gomi. Finally Sakurai escaped and both fighters were on their feet, but the punches had taken their toll on Sakurai. Gomi threw a right hand and then followed up with a left-right combination. The last right hook caught Sakurai on the chin, knocking him out at 3:56 of the first round. Gomi was crowned the Pride 2005 Lightweight Grand Prix champion. The KO win helped Gomi earn 2005 Fighter of the Year honors from Sherdog, an honor he shared with Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
Gomi then made his 2006 debut at Pride Bushido 10. Before the event, DSE announced that Gomi would be crowned the Pride world lightweight champion due to winning the Pride 2005 Lightweight Grand Prix, although the upcoming Bushido 10 fight would not be a title match. He then faced Marcus Aurelio of American Top Team later that night. Aurelio choked out Gomi within the first round with an arm triangle. This match-up was a huge upset and put a lot of doubt within Gomi's ability to fight off of his back. Although Aurelio won the match, it was a non-title bout, with Gomi remaining the Pride lightweight champion. Gomi said he took the match too easily and that this loss was the best thing for him to refocus and become a better fighter.
After a few months off while building his Rascal Gym, Gomi made his return to the Pride ring at Pride Bushido 12 against 10–1 French fighter David Baron. Baron seemed willing to trade with Gomi and managed to slip some punches. Eventually Gomi caught up with him and knocked the Frenchman down, mixing up punches to the head and body. Baron missed a takedown attempt, allowing the Pride champion to get around his back and slam Baron to the ground. Baron rolled in an attempt to shake off his Japanese opponent, but Gomi held on, sinking in a rear naked choke. Baron defended the choke as long as he could, but eventually Gomi completed the technique, forcing Baron to tap at the 7:10 mark of the first round. Baron had previously won a tournament in Europe for the right to face Gomi.
Gomi rematched Aurelio at Pride Bushido 13 on November 5, 2006. This time the Pride lightweight championship was on the line. Both fighters were extremely cautious, and many times the referee could be heard calling for more action during the bout. Aurelio's jab was effective and hit the champion several times. Gomi, often switching his stance, replied with strikes of his own and landed numerous leg kicks. Several times the American Top Team fighter ended up on his back after failed takedown attempts. Rather than follow him down, Gomi just kicked Aurelio's legs until the referee would stand the action back up.
Aurelio scored a clean takedown at the end of the first round, though. Aurelio attempted another takedown in the second, only to see "The Fireball Kid" counter with a kimura. Gomi showed shades of his past catch wrestling accolades when he countered another Aurelio takedown attempt with a half-nelson. He did not follow Aurelio to the ground, instead attacking his legs with kicks. Gomi refused to follow Aurelio to the ground despite his opponent's taunting. Gomi knocked down Aurelio with a body shot late in the last round, and the bout ended with Gomi connecting with a hard kick to Aurelio's body just before the final bell. The fight went to the judges and Gomi retained his title, walking away with the split decision.
Gomi's earned a first round knockout against Mitsuhiro Ishida at Pride Shockwave 2006. Less than a minute into the fight Gomi countered a right leg kick from Ishida with a straight left punch that knocked him down. Gomi immediately went in for the finish, stopping Ishida with a series of hammer fists.
At Pride 33, Gomi suffered a loss to UFC veteran, Nick Diaz by way of gogoplata submission. In the beginning of the first round, Gomi was landing blows on the taller Diaz, even scoring a knockdown, which he was unable to capitalize upon. However, Diaz came back quickly and began to bombard Gomi, who had become visibly exhausted, with straight jabs and right hands for the later half of the round. As the second round opened, Gomi gamely tried to regain lost ground, but after a double leg takedown into Diaz's guard, suddenly found himself in a gogoplata submission. The lightweight champion tapped out at 1:46 of the second round. However, the Nevada State Athletic Commission has declared the fight a "no contest" after Diaz tested positive for marijuana.
By the end of his Pride tenure, Gomi was 13–1 with 1 NC in Pride.
World Victory Road, back to Shooto and future 
After Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC, purchased Pride Fighting Championships from Dream Stage Entertainment, Gomi signed on with World Victory Road, and fought in its inaugural event, "Sengoku", where he defeated Duane Ludwig by TKO (cut).
He then fought at World Victory Road's "Sengoku IV" on August 24, 2008 against Sung Hwan Pang. Gomi won the contest via Unanimous Decision. Gomi competed on November 1, 2008 where he lost a split decision to Russian fighter Sergey Golyaev at Sengoku VI. It was the Upset of the Year for 2008 according to Sherdog.com. He then fought Satoru Kitaoka on January 4, 2009 for the Sengoku lightweight championship. Gomi was defeated at 1:41 by achilles lock.
In October 2009, Gomi fought and defeated Tony Hervey at Shooto's Vale Tudo Japan 2009. Gomi said that the fight would be his last fight in Japan before moving to the US.
Ultimate Fighting Championship 
On January 1, 2010, it was announced that Gomi had signed with the UFC. Gomi faced Kenny Florian in his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 21 and was submitted by Florian via rear naked choke in the third round after being dominated by jabs and body shots for two rounds.
Gomi was expected to face Joe Stevenson on August 1, 2010 at UFC Live on Versus: 2. However, Stevenson suffered an injury while training and was replaced by Tyson Griffin. Gomi defeated Griffin via one punch KO at 1:04 of the first round. Gomi caught Griffin with a left cross following up with a right hook causing Griffin to fall face first into the canvas where Gomi then followed up onto Griffin's back with few short punches before the fight was stopped. He is the first person to have stopped Griffin via knockout as all of Griffin's previous losses have gone to a decision. Gomi also was awarded Knockout Of The Night bonus for his performance.
Gomi was expected to face George Sotiropoulos on February 26, 2012 at UFC 144 but the Australian fighter pulled out after sustaining an injury. Gomi instead faced Eiji Mitsuoka and won via TKO in the second round.
Gomi defeated Mac Danzig via split decision on November 10, 2012 at UFC on Fuel TV 6. Gomi came into the fight in considerably better shape and showcased a drastically improved game including taking Danzig down a few times.
Championships and accomplishments 
- PRIDE Fighting Championships
Mixed martial arts record 
|Professional record breakdown|
|44 matches||34 wins||9 losses|
|Loss||34–9 (1)||Diego Sanchez||Decision (split)||UFC on Fuel TV: Silva vs. Stann||March 3, 2013||3||5:00||Saitama, Japan|
|Win||34–8 (1)||Mac Danzig||Decision (split)||UFC on Fuel TV: Franklin vs. Le||November 10, 2012||3||5:00||Cotai Strip, Macau||Fight of the Night|
|Win||33–8 (1)||Eiji Mitsuoka||TKO (punches)||UFC 144||February 26, 2012||2||2:21||Saitama, Japan|
|Loss||32–8 (1)||Nate Diaz||Submission (armbar)||UFC 135||September 24, 2011||1||4:27||Denver, Colorado, United States|
|Loss||32–7 (1)||Clay Guida||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC 125||January 1, 2011||2||4:27||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||32–6 (1)||Tyson Griffin||KO (punch)||UFC Live: Jones vs. Matyushenko||August 1, 2010||1||1:04||San Diego, California, United States||Knockout of the Night|
|Loss||31–6 (1)||Kenny Florian||Submission (rear naked choke)||UFC Fight Night: Florian vs. Gomi||March 31, 2010||3||2:52||Charlotte, North Carolina, United States|
|Win||31–5 (1)||Tony Hervey||Decision (unanimous)||Vale Tudo Japan 2009||October 30, 2009||5||5:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||30–5 (1)||Takashi Nakakura||KO (punches)||Shooto: Tradition Final||May 10, 2009||2||4:42||Tokyo, Japan||Non-Title Bout|
|Loss||29–5 (1)||Satoru Kitaoka||Submission (achilles lock)||Sengoku Rebellion 2009||January 4, 2009||1||1:41||Saitama, Japan||For the Sengoku Lightweight Championship|
|Loss||29–4 (1)||Sergey Golyaev||Decision (split)||Sengoku 6||November 1, 2008||3||5:00||Saitama, Japan||Sherdog 2008 Upset of the Year|
|Win||29–3 (1)||Seung Hwang Bang||Decision (unanimous)||Sengoku 4||August 24, 2008||3||5:00||Saitama, Japan|
|Win||28–3 (1)||Duane Ludwig||TKO (doctor stoppage)||Sengoku 1||March 5, 2008||1||2:28||Tokyo, Japan|
|NC||27–3 (1)||Nick Diaz||NC (overturned by NSAC)||Pride 33||February 24, 2007||2||1:46||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Original loss by Submission (gogoplata); overturned after Diaz failed drug test.|
|Win||27–3||Mitsuhiro Ishida||TKO (strikes)||Pride Shockwave 2006||December 31, 2006||1||1:14||Saitama, Japan||Non-Title Bout|
|Win||26–3||Marcus Aurélio||Decision (split)||Pride Bushido 13||November 5, 2006||2||5:00||Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan||Defended Pride Lightweight Championship|
|Win||25–3||David Baron||Submission (rear naked choke)||Pride Bushido 12||August 26, 2006||1||7:10||Nagoya, Aichi, Japan||Non-Title Bout|
|Loss||24–3||Marcus Aurélio||Technical submission (arm-triangle choke)||Pride Bushido 10||April 2, 2006||1||4:34||Tokyo, Japan||Non-Title Bout|
|Win||24–2||Hayato Sakurai||KO (punches)||Pride Shockwave 2005||December 31, 2005||1||3:56||Saitama, Japan||Pride 2005 Lightweight GP Final; awarded Pride Lightweight Championship|
|Win||23–2||Luiz Azeredo||Decision (unanimous)||Pride Bushido 9||September 25, 2005||2||5:00||Tokyo, Japan||Pride 2005 Lightweight GP Semifinals|
|Win||22–2||Tatsuya Kawajiri||Submission (rear naked choke)||Pride Bushido 9||September 25, 2005||1||7:42||Tokyo, Japan||Pride 2005 Lightweight GP Quarterfinals. Pride FC Fight of the Year 2005|
|Win||21–2||Jean Silva||Decision (unanimous)||Pride Bushido 8||July 17, 2005||2||5:00||Nagoya, Aichi, Japan|
|Win||20–2||Luiz Azeredo||KO (punches)||Pride Bushido 7||May 22, 2005||1||3:46||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||19–2||Jens Pulver||KO (punch)||Pride Shockwave 2004||December 31, 2004||1||6:21||Saitama, Japan|
|Win||18–2||Charles Bennett||Technical submission (kimura)||Pride Bushido 5||October 14, 2004||1||5:52||Osaka, Japan|
|Win||17–2||Fabio Mello||TKO (punches)||Pride Bushido 4||July 19, 2004||1||8:07||Nagoya, Aichi, Japan|
|Win||16–2||Ralph Gracie||KO (knees)||Pride Bushido 3||May 23, 2004||1||0:06||Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan||Fastest knockout in Pride FC history|
|Win||15–2||Jadyson Costa||TKO (punches)||Pride Bushido 2||February 15, 2004||1||4:55||Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan|
|Loss||14–2||B.J. Penn||Submission (rear naked choke)||Rumble on the Rock 4||October 10, 2003||3||2:35||Honolulu, Hawaii, United States|
|Loss||14–1||Joachim Hansen||Decision (majority)||Shooto in Yokohama Gymnasium||August 10, 2003||3||5:00||Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan||Lost Shooto World Welterweight (154 lb) Championship|
|Win||14–0||Nick Ertl||Submission (armbar)||Shooto: 2/23 in Korakuen Hall||February 23, 2003||1||4:59||Tokyo, Japan||Non-Title Bout|
|Win||13–0||Dokonjonosuke Mishima||TKO (punches)||Shooto 2002 Year-End Show||December 14, 2002||2||0:52||Urayasu, Chiba, Japan||Defended Shooto World Welterweight (154 lb) Championship|
|Win||12–0||Chris Brennan||Decision (unanimous)||Shooto: Treasure Hunt 10||September 16, 2002||3||5:00||Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan||Non-Title Bout|
|Win||11–0||Leonardo Santos||Decision (majority)||Shooto: Treasure Hunt 7||June 29, 2002||3||5:00||Sakai, Osaka, Japan||Non-Title Bout|
|Win||10–0||Rumina Sato||Decision (unanimous)||Shooto: To The Top Final Act||December 16, 2001||3||5:00||Urayasu, Chiba, Japan||Won Shooto World Welterweight (154 lb) Championship|
|Win||9–0||Ryan Bow||Decision (unanimous)||Shooto: R.E.A.D. 12||November 12, 2000||3||5:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||8–0||Paul Rodriguez||Decision (unanimous)||Shooto: R.E.A.D. 6||July 16, 2000||3||5:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||7–0||Huanderson Pavao||Decision (unanimous)||Shooto: R.E.A.D. 3||April 2, 2000||3||5:00||Kadoma, Osaka, Japan|
|Win||6–0||Johnny Eduardo||Submission (rear naked choke)||Vale Tudo Japan 1999||December 11, 1999||3||1:43||Urayasu, Chiba, Japan|
|Win||5–0||Takuya Kawabara||Decision (unanimous)||Shooto: Renaxis 4||September 5, 1999||3||5:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||4–0||Stephen Palling||Submission (rear naked choke)||SuperBrawl 12||June 1, 1999||1||3:06||Honolulu, Hawaii, United States|
|Win||3–0||Takuya Kuwabara||Decision (unanimous)||Shooto: Renaxis 1||March 28, 1999||3||5:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||2–0||Kazumichi Takada||TKO (punches)||Shooto: Devilock Fighters||January 15, 1999||2||3:42||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||1–0||Hiroshi Tsuruya||Decision (unanimous)||Shooto: Las Grandes Viajes 6||November 27, 1998||3||5:00||Tokyo, Japan|
See also 
- "Fight Finder: Takanori Gomi". Sherdog. 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-15.
- Gross, Josh (2007-04-10). "NSAC Changes Diaz Win to No-Decision". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 2007-04-10.
- Breen, Jordan (January 31, 2008). "Gomi to World Victory Road". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Loiseleur, Tony. "Sherdog's Miscellaneous Awards for 2008". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
- "Takanori Gomi claims non-title win over Shooto champ Takashi Nakakura".
- "Affliction Releases Official Statement on Cancellation". The Fight Network. 2009-07-24. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
- Chris Nelson. "Takanori Gomi Announces "Last Fight in Japan" at VTJ '09".
- Ariel Helwani. "Takanori Gomi Signs With UFC".
- "Kenny Florian vs. Takanori Gomi expected for main event of UFC Fight Night 21". mmajunkie.com. 2010-01-21.
- "UFC on Versus 2: Joe Stevenson vs Takanori Gomi set for Salt Lake City on August 1". mmamania.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
- "Change to UFC main card bout". f4wonline.com. 2010-06-28.
- Stupp, Dann. "UFC 135 main-card results: Jones chokes out 'Rampage,' Koscheck KOs Hughes". mmaJunkie.com. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
- "UFC 144: George Sotiropoulos Out, Eiji Mitsuoka In Against Takanori Gomi". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved 2012-01-31.
- "Mac Danzig: I'm fighting Takanori Gomi at UFC on FUEL TV 6 in Macau". mmajunkie.com. August 27, 2012.
- Martin, Damon (December 12, 2012). "Sanchez Faces Gomi in Japan". mmaweekly.com.
- "Sherdog.com Names "Shogun" & Gomi 2005 Fighters of the Year". sherdog.com. 2006-01-01. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
|New championship||Pride FC Lightweight Tournament winner
December 31, 2005
|Pride FC folded|
|New championship||1st Pride Lightweight Champion
December 31, 2005