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, is a Japanese mixed martial artist. Gomi is a former Shooto Welterweight Champion and was the final holder of the lightweight title from defunct promotion Pride Fighting Championship. He is also a four-time All Japan Combat Wrestling champion. Characterized by his ambidexterity in striking, Gomi was for a long time, before his loss to Sergey Golyaev, considered to be among the best lightweight fighters in the world.


Biography

Childhood

Takanori Gomi was born in Kanagawamarker, Japanmarker 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.

Shooto

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 Tokyomarker, 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.

Takanori 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 Americanmarker 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 Gymnasiummarker. 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 veteran, former UFC welterweight champion, and current UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn on October 10, 2003 at the Rumble on the Rock 4 event in Honolulumarker, Hawaiimarker. His first and only 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 Jadson Costa of the famed Chute Boxe team out of Brazilmarker. Gomi stopped Costa via TKO half way 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 TKO in the first round- the quickest match in the organization’s history, due to repeated knee strikes.

Takanori 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 then appeared at Pride’s New Year’s Eve show, Pride Shockwave 2004, against former UFC Lightweight Champion Jens Pulver. Gomi scored a knockout with an uppercut at 6:21 in the first round.

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 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 Takanori 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.

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 Takanori 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 tenture, 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. He then fought Satoru Kitaoka on January 4, 2009 for the Sengoku lightweight championship. Gomi was defeated at 1:41 by achilles lock.

On May 10, 2009, he returned to Shooto at Shooto: Tradition Final where he faced Takashi Nakakura Gomi won via KO in the second round.

His next fight was then set to for Affliction Entertainment at Affliction: Trilogy, with his opponent being Rafaello Oliveira, but the event was ultimately canceled.

In September 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.

Personal life

Takanori and his fiancée Chiaki are currently expecting their first child.

Mixed martial arts record



Championships and accomplishments

Wrestling

  • 2nd All Japan Combat Wrestling Championships (69 kg division) 3rd place 1998
  • 5th All Japan Combat Wrestling Championships (69 kg division) 1st place 2001
  • 6th All Japan Combat Wrestling Championships (67 – 74 kg division) 1st place, March 24, 2002
  • 8th All Japan Combat Wrestling Championships (67 – 74 kg division) 1st place, February 23, 2003
  • 12th All Japan Combat Wrestling Championships (67–74 kg division) 1st place 2007


Mixed martial arts

  • Pride World lightweight champion (April 1, 2006 - present)
  • Pride 2005 Lightweight Grand Prix Champion (December 31, 2005)
  • Shooto Welterweight Champion (December 16, 2001 - August 10, 2003)


See also



References

  1. http://mmajunkie.com/news/14831/takanori-gomi-claims-non-title-win-over-shooto-champ-takashi-nakakura.mma
  2. http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2009/9/15/1031759/takanori-gomi-announces-last-fight


External links



Record Date Result Opponent Event Method Round Time Notes
31-5-0(1) 10/30/2009 Win Tony Hervey Vale Tudo Japan 2009 Decision (Unanimous) 5 5:00
30-5-0(1) 5/10/2009 Win Takashi Nakakura Shooto: Tradition Final KO (Punches) 2 4:42 Non-Title Bout
29-5-0(1) 1/4/2009 Loss Satoru Kitaoka World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku Rebellion 2009 Submission (Achilles Lock) 1 1:41 For Sengoku Lightweight Title
29-4-0(1) 11/1/2008 Loss Sergey Golyaev World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku 6 Decision (Split) 3 5:00
29-3-0(1) 8/24/2008 Win Seung Hwang Bang World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku 4 Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00
28-3-0(1) 3/5/2008 Win Duane Ludwig World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku 1 TKO (Cut) 1 2:28
27-3-0(1) 2/24/2007 NC Nick Diaz Pride 33: Second Coming Overturned by NSAC 2 1:46 Original loss via Submission (Gogoplata), result overturned by NSAC after Diaz failed drug test (marijuana). Non-Title Bout
27-3 12/31/2006 Win Mitsuhiro Ishida Pride Shockwave 2006 TKO (Strikes) 1 1:14 Non-Title Bout
26-3 11/5/2006 Win Marcus Aurelio Pride Bushido 13 Decision (Split) 2 5:00 Defended Pride Lightweight Championship
25-3 8/26/2006 Win David Baron Pride Bushido 12 Submission (Rear Naked Choke) 1 7:10 Non-Title Bout
24-3 4/2/2006 Loss Marcus Aurelio Pride Bushido 10 Submission (Arm Triangle Choke) 1 4:34 Non-Title Bout
24-2 12/31/2005 Win Hayato Sakurai Pride Shockwave 2005 KO (Punches) 1 3:56 Pride 2005 Lightweight Grand Prix Final. Was awarded Pride Lightweight Championship
23-2 9/25/2005 Win Luiz Azeredo Pride Bushido 9 Decision (Unanimous) 2 5:00 Pride 2005 Lightweight Grand Prix semi-finals
22-2 9/25/2005 Win Tatsuya Kawajiri Pride Bushido 9 Submission (Rear Naked Choke) 1 7:42 Pride 2005 Lightweight Grand Prix quarter-finals
21-2 7/17/2005 Win Jean Silva Pride Bushido 8 Decision (Unanimous) 2 5:00
20-2 5/22/2005 Win Luiz Azeredo Pride Bushido 7 KO (Punches) 1 3:46
19-2 12/31/2004 Win Jens Pulver Pride Shockwave 2004 KO (Punch) 1 6:21
18-2 10/14/2004 Win Charles Bennett Pride Bushido 5 Submission (Kimura) 1 5:52
17-2 7/19/2004 Win Fabio Mello Pride Bushido 4 TKO (Strikes) 1 8:07
16-2 5/23/2004 Win Ralph Gracie Pride Bushido 3 TKO (Knees) 1 0:06 Fastest knockout in Pride FC history
15-2 2/15/2004 Win Jadson Costa Pride Bushido 2 TKO (Strikes) 1 4:55
14-2 10/10/2003 Loss B.J. Penn Rumble on the Rock 4 Submission (Rear Naked Choke) 3 2:35
14-1 8/10/2003 Loss Joachim Hansen Shooto in Yokohama Gymnasium Decision (Majority) 3 5:00 Lost Shooto World Welterweight Championship
14-0 2/23/2003 Win Nick Ertl Shooto 2003-2/23 in Korakuen Hall Submission (Armbar) 1 4:59 Non-Title Bout
13-0 12/14/2002 Win Dokonjonosuke Mishima Shooto 2002 Year-End Show TKO (Punches) 2 0:52 Defended Shooto World Welterweight Championship
12-0 9/16/2002 Win Chris Brennan Shooto: Treasure Hunt 10 Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00 Non-Title Bout
11-0 6/29/2002 Win Leonardo Santos Shooto: Treasure Hunt 7 Decision (Majority) 3 5:00 Non-Title Bout
10-0 12/16/2001 Win Rumina Sato Shooto: To The Top Final Act Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00 Won Shooto World Welterweight Championship
9-0 11/12/2000 Win Ryan Bow Shooto: R.E.A.D. 12 Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00
8-0 7/16/2000 Win Paul Rodriguez Shooto: R.E.A.D. 6 Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00
7-0 4/2/2000 Win Huanderson Pavao Shooto: R.E.A.D. 3 Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00
6-0 12/11/1999 Win Johnny Eduardo Vale Tudo Japan 1999 Submission (Rear Naked Choke) 3 1:43
5-0 9/5/1999 Win Takuya Kawabara Shooto: Renaxis 4 Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00
4-0 6/1/1999 Win Stephen Palling SuperBrawl 12 Submission (Rear Naked Choke) 1 3:06
3-0 3/28/1999 Win Takuya Kuwabara Shooto: Renaxis 1 Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00
2-0 1/15/1999 Win Kazumichi Takada Shooto: DEVILOCK Fighters TKO (Punches) 2 3:42
1-0 11/27/1998 Win Hiroshi Tsuruya Shooto: Las Grandes Viajes 6 Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00

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