|UFC 161: Evans vs. Henderson|
Takanori Gomi was born on September 22nd, 1978 in Kanagawa, Japan. He began training in boxing at the age of 16 and pitched for his high school’s baseball team before dropping out in 1996. Gomi immediately focused his attention on fight training, working on his wrestling skills and competing in amateur contests around Japan.
Gomi was invited to join the official Shooto training team in 1997 and he immediately began taking part in area Shooto competitions. His professional fighting debut took place on November 27th, 1998 at the Shooto Las Grandes Viajes 6 event in Tokyo where he won his bout with Hiroshi Tsuruya with a decision. Gomi proceeded to win his first 14 professional mixed martial arts matches within the Shooto, Vale Tudo and Superbrawl organizations and promotions. He defeated former teammate Rumina Sato on December 16th, 2001 to became the Shooto World Welterweight Champion. Two quick and successful title defense matches followed with Gomi defeating American fighter Chris Brennan and Japanese combatant Dokoonjonosuke Mishima with a unanimous decision and TKO respectively.
Ironically, it was Gomi’s last fight in Shooto that saw him suffer his first loss. On August 10th, 2003, Gomi faced Norwegian Joachim Hansen and lost a huge upset by majority decision. Another loss followed for Gomi when he faced UFC Welterweight Champion B.J. Penn at the Rumble on the Rock 4 event in Penn’s home of Hawaii. A rear naked choke by Penn in the third round sealed Gomi’s fate in that bout.
Gomi returned to Japan looking for a new home to train and fight. He ended up signing with Japanese MMA organization PRIDE Fighting Championships and made his debut at the PRIDE Bushido 2 event on February 15h, 2004 where he won his match against Jadson Costa by TKO.
Gomi’s next PRIDE match was a record-breaker versus Ralph Gracie at the Bushido 3 event. With a TKO win at six seconds into the first round Gomi not only handed Gracie his first ever defeat but also set a PRIDE record for the fastest ever TKO.
Gomi continued fighting in the Bushido series and went on to defeat both Fabio Mello and Charles ‘Crazy Horse’ Bennett during the first round of PRIDE Bushido 5 and PRIDE Bushido 5 respectively. Gomi continued to fight with PRIDE, taking only a few months off in 2005 to work on building and marketing his Rascal Gym. He continued to dominate his competition, taking out French fighter David Baron at Bushido 12 and winning his rematch with Aurelio at Bushido 13 in November of 2005.
Continuing in not only his domination but also in his tendency to end fights quickly, Gomi was able to knock highly rated contender Mitsuhiro Ishida at PRIDE’s Shockwave 2006 event in less than a minute into the first round.
PRIDE 33 saw Gomi’s first loss in a long while when he took on noted UFC fighter Nick Diaz. Although Gomi was able to land punches and even force a knock down in the first round he was never able to capitalize and ended up losing by way of a gogoplata submission. The ruling was changed to ‘no decision’ after it was found that Diaz had illegal drugs in his system at the time of the fight.
Andrei Arlovski - "The Pitbull"
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira - "Minotauro"
Brad Blackburn - Bad
Chris Lytle - Lights Out
Dan Christison - The Sandman
David Tank Abbott
Don Frye - The Predator
Ed Herman - Short Fuse
Eric Esch - Butterbean
Ernesto Hoost - Mr. Perfect
Gabriel Gonzaga - "Napao"
George St. Pierre - "Rush"
Gilbert Yvel - The Hurricane
Heath Herring - The Texas Crazy Horse
Ian Freeman - The Machine
Igor Vovchanchyn - Ice Cold
Jason MacDonald - The Athlete
Jason Von Flue - Live Wire
Jeff Joslin - The Inferno
Jeremy Horn - Gumby
Joachim Hansen - Hell Boy
Josh Barnett - "The Babyface Assassin"
Josh Burkman - "The People's Warrior"
Keith Jardine - The Dean of Mean
Kenny Florian - KenFlo
Marcus Aurelio - Maximus
Mark Coleman - The Hammer
Mark Weir - The Wizard
Marvin Eastman - The Beastman
Matt Hamill - The Hammer
Mauricio Rua - "Shogun"
Mike Swick - "Quick"
Mirko Filipovic - "Cro Cop"
Nick Diaz - "Diablo"
Patrick Cote - The Predator
Paul Buentello - The Headhunter
Peter Aerts - The Dutch Lumberjack
Phil Baroni - The New York Bad Ass
Quinton Jackson - "Rampage"
Randy Couture - "The Natural"
Rashad Evans - "Sugar"
Richard Clementi - No Love
Roman Zentsov - The Russian Hammer
Sam Hoger - The Alaskan Assassin
Sean Sherk - "The Muscle Shark"
Shonie Carter - Mr. International
Spencer Fisher - The King
Tim Sylvia - "The Maine-iac"
Travis Lutter - The Serial Killer
Urijah Faber - California Kid