Takanori Gomi (30-5, 1 NC) has been officially announced as a participant, and he told the assembled media that October 30th could very well mark his final fight in Japan. After this, he’ll pursue a career Stateside…
I know some of you are rolling your eyes wondering why anyone cares about Gomi (especially if your name rhymes with “Jacob Fortin”), thinking he’s washed up or overrated, but this is great news. It’s either put-up-or-shut up time after the psych outs he’s pulled on us for the past half-decade. But this time he seems serious. The choice is his whether or not he makes the trek like Crocop or keeps barking how Wanderlei did for so many years. Gomi has forever been one of the most hardcore fighters in the sport. Memmer Wand’s run from ’01 to ’06? Takanori’s was that level of epic-ness until Nick Diaz ran a train on him.
Sure, he lost a BS decision to a nobody and then got his ankle cranked like Soulja Boy, but it isn’t like he dropped all the way off of the “Good fighters” map like Brandon Vera. The man still has disgusting KO power, solid wrestling and a chin forged with Adamantium by Jeebus Cripes himself. If his last fight was any indication, it’s only a matter of time before he starts punching people’s teeth into the back of their throat again – but stateside this time.
What promotion would be the best choice to turn into his new home? Strikeforce. Yeah, I said it. There are too many fights he didn’t have in PRIDE that can be made now that the alliance between Strikeforce and DREAM is going to kick into full force. Gomi vs. Melendez, Thomson, Aoki, Buscape, Dida, Shaolin, JZ, Nakamura, Alvarez and rematches with Hansen, Ishida and Kawajiri are all excellent fights. Much more interesting than seeing Gray Maynard lay on him or Clay Guida humping his leg.
Then again, he may just end up re-signing with Sengoku show and we’ll all be left – once again – with red, white and blue balls.