On Takanori Gomi...

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AchillesHeel
3/28/07 12:02:55PM
The sale of Pride and the announcement that they will adopt the same weight classes as the UFC has big implications for The Fireball Kid.

Some people contend that Gomi is overrated, as he's been widely regarded as the best lightweight in the world for a few years now, especially in the absence of the UFC's Lightweight division. Not including the results of fights against him, Gomi's last 12 opponents have a combined pro record of 188-59-11. (This includes all of their fights since fighting Gomi, but not the fights against Gomi.) Not counting the 11 Draws, that's a .761 winning percentage, which is roughly the same as Jens Pulver's pro record.

Gomi's losses to Aurelio and Diaz loom large.

Personally, I thought Gomi looked "wrong" against Diaz, as though he were ill or something. Some people think he took the non-title fight lightly, and Diaz lightly, and didn't train properly. Regardless, I expected - and continue to expect - Gomi to do better.

Marcus Aurelio famously exposed a glaring flaw in Gomi's game, and it's evident that he's tried to address that flaw since. In his very next fight, he defeated David Baron with a choke, and he's since defeated Aurelio in a rematch. He's obviously added some grappling to his repertoire, and has adapted his game. His early takedown of Diaz was clearly meant to throw a curveball, to Diaz and to every other fighter gunning for his belt. It makes a guy think about defending the takedown, which sets him up for one of those right-handed bombs.

Whether the loss to Nick Diaz is a similar "wake-up call" for Gomi remains to be seen. Personally, I think his next opponent will need good health insurance.

Another thing that people criticize, about Pride in general, not just Gomi, is the lack of title defenses. Before the sale, Pride had said that they were planning to make their champions defend their belts more frequently. A lot of folks, myself included, said "I'll believe it when I see it." But with the sale to the Fertittas, this is probably more likely. Gomi may have to suit up for 2 or 3 title defenses a year, as the UFC champs seem to do. Furthermore, with a higher level of cooperativeness between the organizations, Gomi may have to stare down some of the UFC's top guns, who I think are largely under-rated by MMA fans. In fact, Gomi recently called out BJ Penn and Sean Sherk (which was pretty ballsy, imho, as both Penn and Sherk are practically tailor-made to take Gomi's lunch money).

As far as I know, Gomi will be participating in the Lightweight Grand Prix. The new management company may also decide to put his Pride Lightweight belt on the line more than once in a Blue Moon, and he's a prime candidate for that "Super Bowl of MMA" that Dana White was talking about.

The Fireball Kid better be eating his Wheaties.
Ydoc
3/28/07 12:14:10PM
Good post, I love the stats. That said, I think Gomi is on the cusp of a Robbie Lawler style exposing.
warglory
3/28/07 12:16:16PM
Good post dude, couldn't have said it better myself.
Manfred
3/28/07 12:28:25PM
This should certainly lit a fire (excure the pun) under his ass. He seemed like he didn't train very well before the Diaz fight. Probably because he knew it wasn't for the belt and was favored

He's going to have to bring his "A" game from now on, that's for sure.
pv3Hpv3p
3/28/07 1:34:09PM
i think that Gomi's a great fighter and I give him all the respect in the world... But there is one thing that seems to stick with me whenever I see him lose... He seems to know he's defeated and accept it...

If a fighter is beating him in the standup game you can almost see it take the will right out of him... After he hit Diaz with the big right hand in the first, and saw that it didn't knock him out, he looked disheartened and seemed content to try and throw those sloppy looping punches for the rest of the fight...

I think anyone that has a good enough chin and proficient enough hands to stand with him (easier said than done) will beat him 8-9 out of 10 times...
THE_AXE_MURDERER
3/28/07 1:55:22PM
good post I think this will be best for The Rascal he will be back with the fire with more title fights and more fights against UFC LW I REALLY dont think that Gomi is like Lawler thats kinda off lol
randyleprechaun
3/28/07 2:02:34PM
I predicted Diaz would win that match-up by submission in the second round. As i thought Diazs under-reated boxing skills, size and world-class bjj would be to much for the Pride Champ.

Gomi's a great fighter though. But i dont see how he can beat the UFC Champion Sean Sherk, let alone someone like B.J. Penn or Georges St. Pierre. Great post by the way!
Jeffanori-Gomi
3/28/07 3:01:00PM
I agree,

Gomi is entertaining to watch and with the right matchups Im sure Gomi will still be a great success. However, I think Gomi's reign at the top is coming to an abrupt halt
randyleprechaun
3/28/07 3:11:42PM
I dunno. All i know is id rather have an exciting fighter like Gomi as my Light-weight Champ, than some-one like Sean Sherk.
mkiv9secsupra
3/28/07 3:18:08PM
yeah he is going to come bcak stronger and more entertaining than ever. his fight with diaz was, odd... given another shot gomi will finish the fight easily... diaz just didnt have knockout power at this weight and gomi does.
pv3Hpv3p
3/28/07 3:27:58PM

Posted by mkiv9secsupra

yeah he is going to come bcak stronger and more entertaining than ever. his fight with diaz was, odd... given another shot gomi will finish the fight easily... diaz just didnt have knockout power at this weight and gomi does.



I don't know how you can say that Gomi would finish their rematch easily... In their first fight, it looked like he was having trouble dealing with Nick's reach and by no means dominated the standup like most people though he would... I will agree that it will be a much more evenly matched, Gomi just didn't look himself in that fight...

Diaz doesn't need the KO power... He's accurate with his strikes and like someone previously posted he's got world class jits...

He sure didn't need the KO power to sub him in the first fight, just made him pay with acurate striking and subbed him...

Diaz basically "Neer-ed" Gomi...
randyleprechaun
3/28/07 3:45:20PM
I agree Diaz would win two out of three fights with gomi every time!
mkiv9secsupra
3/28/07 5:05:53PM

Posted by pv3Hpv3p


Posted by mkiv9secsupra

yeah he is going to come bcak stronger and more entertaining than ever. his fight with diaz was, odd... given another shot gomi will finish the fight easily... diaz just didnt have knockout power at this weight and gomi does.



I don't know how you can say that Gomi would finish their rematch easily... In their first fight, it looked like he was having trouble dealing with Nick's reach and by no means dominated the standup like most people though he would... I will agree that it will be a much more evenly matched, Gomi just didn't look himself in that fight...



well i think gomi knows exactly what to train for now...he knows he doesnt have to worry about a ko so im sure hes going to comeout and pretty much have a repeat of couture/sylvia with a little more aggression.
hippysmacker
3/28/07 5:14:21PM
That's one of the best post I've ever read. Props
Lay_N_Pray
3/28/07 5:40:44PM
Excellent post...but Gomi being in a do or die situation is one of the most exciting stories in MMA in my opinion.

A great champion can either eat the dirt and have a legacy tarnished or he can make a triumphant comeback like no other with the opportunity of UFC as a possibility and the LWGP coming up.

This is like a real life Rocky story with a choose your own ending.

I have always been a HUGE fan of Gomi and I really hope he has at least one last strong push before being washed up. I hope he hangs up his gloves before he does get washed up.

WAR to Gomi establishing a legacy
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