Takanori Gomi

Pang Tapped to Face Gomi at “Sengoku IV”


Takanori Gomi. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.

DEEP lightweight champion Sung Hwan Pang has been tapped to take on former PRIDE title holder Takanori Gomi at World Victory Road’s scheduled “Sengoku IV” show on August 24th in Japan. The promotion officially announced the bout earlier today.

Gomi returned to action after a year of inactivity in March, defeating Duane Ludwig due to a cut at the first-ever “Sengoku” event. His opponent, Pang, is a winner of his last five bouts. He most recently scored a first-round knockout of Kazunori Yokota at DEEP’s “35th Impact” show in May.

The organization also announced a quartet of fights that will take place as part of their inaugural lightweight grand prix tournament. The previously aforementioned Yokota will take on Bojan Kosednar, who was recently knocked out by Paul Daley two weeks ago. The three other bouts include IFL lightweight champion Ryan Schultz vs. Mizuto Hirota, PRIDE veteran Clay French vs. Satoru Kitaoka, and Eiji Mitsuoka vs. Rodrigo Damm. Ludwig was advertised for the tourney but will not compete due to prior commitments.

The current card for the event is as follows:

Takanori Gomi vs. Sung Hwan Pang
Frank Trigg vs. Makoto Takimoto
Peter Graham vs. Moise Rimbon
Ryan Schultz vs. Mizuto Hirota
Clay French vs. Satoru Kitaoka
Eiji Mitsuoka vs. Rodrigo Damm
Kazunori Yokota vs. Bojan Kosednar

Gomi-Horodecki Remains Unsigned


Chris Horodecki. Photo courtesy of the International Fight League.

A proposed lightweight battle between former PRIDE title holder Takanori Gomi and International Fight League standout Chris Horodecki has not yet been signed, leaving Gomi without an opponent heading into next month’s scheduled “Sengoku IV” event in Japan.

The news comes from MMA Weekly, which confirmed with Horodecki himself that the possibility of him fighting Gomi in August hasn’t gone past anything else than the discussions stage at this point. World Victory Road also isn’t the only promotion in which the Canadian may be appearing the near future either.

“My management is talking to DREAM along with some other organizations,” Horodecki said in the article. “To my knowledge nothing is finalized yet, so it’s just talk for now. I don’t think the IFL is officially done yet, so that and TKO’s card in October are two other options we’re looking at.”

“Of course, it would be an amazing honor to fight Takanori Gomi,” Horodecki continued. “He’s one of the best in the world. He’s got really heavy hands so I’d have to watch out for that. I’d definitely have to sit down and study his tapes and come up with a good game plan. It’s hard to comment anymore than that because I haven’t studied Gomi enough to say. I’m sort of in limbo right now, just enjoying my summer and training hard in London and at Xtreme Couture Toronto.”

TKO Championship Fighting figurehead Stephane Patry stated earlier this month that Horodecki could possibly be returning to the promotion to fulfill the last fight on his contract before the end of the year. We also can’t forget that the UFC is reportedly in discussions to purchase the almost-defunct IFL for a price estimated around $1 million.

Gomi, Yamamoto Eye Summer Returns


Takanori Gomi celebrates after his win over Mitsuhiro Ishida at PRIDE Shockwave 2006. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.

Former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi and pound for pound phenom Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto have both reportedly informed the Japanese media of their respective intentions to return to action this summer.

The news comes from Sherdog’s Jordan Breen in his latest edition of the Koubousen Companion.

Gomi stated that he planned to compete at World Victory Road’s upcoming third “Sengoku” event on June 8th while in attendance at this past weekend’s All Japan Combat Wrestling National Championships and plans to begin training again later this month.

The 29 year-old returned to action after a year of inactivity, stopping Duane Ludwig at WVR’s inaugural event last month. Ludwig suffered a cut on the bridge of his nose that forced ringside doctors to prevent him from continuing.

Meanwhile Yamamoto informed the media that he hoped to return to the ring in June or July. His contract with Fight Entertainment Group will have “Kid” competing inside the confines of DREAM. He remains unsure of which weight he will fight at.

Yamamoto last stopped World Extreme Cagefighting veteran Rani Yahya with strikes at K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!! on New Year’s Eve.

WVR: Sengoku Quick Results


Josh Barnett throws a right hand at Pawel Nastula at PRIDE 32: The Real Deal. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.

A full recap of the event will come later today…

Nick Thompson def. Fabricio Monteiro - Unanimous Decision
Ryo Kawamura def. Antonio Neto - Unanimous Decision
Evangelista Santos def. Makoto Takimoto - Submission (Heel Hook)
Kazuyuki Fujita def. Peter Graham - Submission (North-South Choke)
Kazuo Misaki def. Siyar Bahadurzada - Submission (Guillotine)
Takanori Gomi def. Duane Ludwig - TKO (Cut)
Josh Barnett def. Hidehiko Yoshida - Submission (Heel Hook)

“Sengoku” Begins a New Era for MMA in Japan


Josh Barnett weighs-in for PRIDE 32: The Real Deal. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.

For those of you in North America, a new era of mixed martial arts will take place over in Japan while you are sleeping Tuesday night. World Victory Road will hold it’s inaugural show titled “Sengoku” Wednesday at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.

The show will feature a main event between former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett and former Olympian Hidehiko Yoshida. Former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi and one-time K-1 kickboxing standout Duane “Bang” Ludwig will clash. Kazuo Misaki will also compete on the card.

A definite mix of former PRIDE veterans and other notable fighters that have competed in various organizations around the world make this event intriguing.

Main Card

As far as the main event goes, both Barnett and Yoshida will be attempting to shake of a good amount of ring rust as neither fighter has competed since PRIDE: Shockwave 2006 on New Year’s Eve two years ago.

Barnett lost a unanimous decision to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in a rematch of their Open-Weight Grand Prix bout at the event. Yoshida was stopped with strikes by heavyweight slugger James Thompson.

While Barnett has been staying in shape thanks to a regular schedule involving professional wrestling appearances and grappling matches, Yoshida is a complete question mark conditioning wise. In reality though, it won’t matter very much in this fight.

Even though the two are former training partners, it shouldn’t be much of a chess match. Look for Barnett to dominate Yoshida and pick up an easy win.

Continue reading "“Sengoku” Begins a New Era for MMA in Japan"

WVR Announces Gomi-Ludwig, Two More Bouts


Takanori Gomi celebrates after his win over Mitsuhiro Ishida at PRIDE Shockwave 2006. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.

World Victory Road has announced the addition of three more bouts for it’s inaugural event entitled “Sengoku” on March 5th at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.

The biggest one has to be a lightweight battle between former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi and one-time K-1 kickboxing standout Duane “Bang” Ludwig.

Gomi has not fought since he took on Nick Diaz at PRIDE 33 in February of last year. Diaz submitted Gomi with a gogoplata in an exciting fight but the decision was later overturned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission after it was found that Diaz had tested positive for marijuana at the conclusion of the event.

“The Fireball Kid” had been courted by multiple organizations since PRIDE was purchased by Zuffa last March, including the UFC. Speculation had him headed over to K-1 Hero’s at one point but a deal between the two sides never came to fruition.

Ludwig was originally slated to take on Steve Berger at the upcoming “Strikeforce at the Dome” event later this month but MMA Weekly reports that Ludwig will pull out of that fight.

Additional bouts that were announced include current BodogFight welterweight title holder Nick Thompson going up against Fabricio Monteiro and Pancrase veteran Ryo Kawamura taking on Antonio Neto. Also mentioned at today’s press conference was the signing of legendary PRIDE heavyweight Kazuyuki Fujita, who will take on a yet to be announced opponent at the show.

WVR Inks Takanori Gomi


Takanori Gomi celebrates after his win over Mitsuhiro Ishida at PRIDE Shockwave 2006. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

World Victory Road announced today at a press conference in Tokyo, Japan earlier today that they have signed former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi to a deal that will have him debut at the organization’s inaugural show titled “Sengoku” on March 5th.

The event is slated to take place at the Yoyogi National Stadium Gym in Tokyo, Japan.

Gomi has not fought since he took on Nick Diaz at PRIDE 33: The Second Coming in February of last year. Diaz submitted Gomi with a gogoplata in an exciting fight but the decision was later overturned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission after it was found that Diaz had tested positive for marijuana at the conclusion of the event.

“The Fireball Kid” had been courted by multiple organizations since PRIDE was purchased by Zuffa last March. Speculation had him headed over to K-1 Hero’s at one point but a deal between the two sides never came to fruition.

Both World Victory Road and the Ultimate Fighting Championship had made offers to Gomi over the past couple of months.

The UFC even offered current lightweight Frankie Edgar a fight against Gomi only to have contract talks break down between the two parties. WVR President Naoya Kinoshita publicly stated earlier this month that he was in contact with Gomi’s management team.

Gomi will earn approximately $190,00 per fight according to Sherdog’s Jordan Breen.

Touch of gloves to Fight Opinion for the find.

Report: Edgar-Gomi Proposed Fight Scrapped


Takanori Gomi celebrates after his win over Mitsuhiro Ishida at PRIDE Shockwave 2006. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

At least it’s good to know that the UFC might really be trying to sign Takanori Gomi…

Sam Caplan of Five Ounces of Pain is reporting that a potential deal between the Ultimate Fighting Championship and former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi has fallen apart according to sources close to UFC lightweight contender Frankie Edgar.

Apparently Edgar was offered a fight against Gomi and accepted the bout only to have the plans fall through after the UFC was unable to sign Gomi to an official contract.

Caplan also says that there is currently no indication as to why the deal fell apart or if the two sides will be returning to the bargaining table in the near future.

We also reported earlier this month that World Victory Road President Naoya Kinoshita has stated publicly that he is currently in discussions with Gomi’s management team to bring “The Fireball Kid” to the brand new promotion this year.

WVR Signs Misaki; Offers Gomi Contract

World Victory Road remains busy leading up to their inaugural event March 5th as the promotion has signed former PRIDE veteran Kazuo Misaki.

The announcement was made at yesterday’s WVR press conference. Sports Navi has the scoop. Misaki’s signing is coupled with the official announcement of Sengoku’s first bout: Phil Baroni vs Sanae Kikuta.

Misaki is scheduled to compete at the show against an unknown opponent. With the promotion’s plan to match up Japanese fighters against foreign competition at the event, we can safely rule out a bunch of potential opponents for Misaki, who is coming off of an impressive knockout win over Yoshihiro Akiyama at Yarennoka! on New Year’s Eve.

WVR officials have also offered former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi a contract and are hoping that he will agree to fight at Sengoku as well. According to WVR President Naoya Kinoshita, he and his team are currently in discussions with Gomi’s camp.

Touch of gloves to Nightmare of Battle for the finds.

Five MMA Things I Want for Christmas

Since it’s Christmas Eve and there’s not a lot of news going on, I thought why not make a list of MMA-related things that I’d like to see next year.

These are in no particular order…

1. Randy Couture vs Fedor Emelianenko - I’m not the only one that wants to see this. EVERYONE wants to see this. It’d be the biggest fight ever. Since Fedor opted to sign with M-1 Global instead of the UFC, we are going to have to wait until at least October to learn whether or not Couture’s contract with the UFC is really finished or that’s he going to have to fight twice more in order to finally get out.

Hopefully what Couture says holds true. If not, Dana and company have to work out some kind of working partnership with M-1, at least for the sake of the fans if nothing else.

2. The return of Evan Tanner - Now that Tanner has officially signed a new four-fight deal with the UFC, it’s only a matter of time before he is finally set to step back into the Octagon. I’m not doubting that it’s going to happen by wishing for it. I just want to finally see it take place.

The guy has battled some personal demons over the past two years and I’m sure that the majority of MMA fans would like nothing more than to see Tanner achieve his dream of fighting again in the UFC. On top of that, Tanner says he has the goods to knock off Anderson Silva. Ask anyone to make a list of fighters that could beat Silva and you’ll see Tanner on there almost every time.

3. Floyd Mayweather in MMA - After months and months of putting MMA down and then deciding that he might want to try it, it’s time to put up or shut up for boxing’s best pound for pound fighter. If he fights under Mark Cuban’s HDNet Fights banner, money won’t even be an issue. If Mayweather does go into MMA, I think that he’ll try to spin it for all it’s worth. Based on the fact that he has zero experience, the athletic commission is going to force the matchmakers to put Floyd up against another fighter that has not fought professionally and has very little amateur experience, most likely a guy that Mayweather could knock out in the first round.

It’ll probably be an exhibition bout too. After that Mayweather will declare that boxing is superior to MMA and will never step into a cage again. Then a slew of professional MMA fighters will call him out and he’ll try to explain that he has no reason to go back and fight again in MMA. Still, it’ll definitely be fun to watch.

4. Josh Barnett and Takanori Gomi to sign somewhere - Ever since the demise of PRIDE, these two have been nowhere to be found. While Barnett kept some of the spotlight on him in 2007 with his war of words with Dana White and his submission grappling match a few days ago, he still hasn’t fought in an MMA bout since losing to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira nearly one year ago.

Gomi’s loss changed to a no contest against Nick Diaz was the former PRIDE Lightweight Champ’s only bout in ‘07. Since then, he’s been competely silent. These two are among the elite in their respective weight classes and aren’t getting any younger. It’s time to sign somewhere and get fighting again.

5. The UFC video game to come out in ‘08 - Yes, I know that it’s slated for a 2009 release but it could be finished early, right? It was UFC Throwdown’s release in 2002 that got me into the world of MMA. We haven’t had a new game since Sudden Impact in ‘04. The trailer for THQ’s new project looks amazing and I can’t wait. While I’m at it, Sam Caplan has a great article on UFC: Throwdown and what he hopes THQ will include in the new game coming out.

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