Takanori Gomi, one of World Victory Road’s top drawing cards, suffered defeat earlier today at Sengoku VI in Japan at the hands of a little-known teammate of Fedor Emelianenko’s.
Facing Sergey Golyaev of the Red Devil fight club, the heavily-favored Gomi losT a split decision that has not come without controversy. Gomi controlled the tempo of the fight and many pundits anticipated that he would be ahead of the judges’ scorecards. However, Golyaev, thanks to a near-TKO in the second round, walked away victorious.
The fight card was held at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, adding to the shock of Gomi’s decision loss. Japanese fighters traditionally have had a homefield advantage when it comes to refereeing and judging, making it extremely curious that Gomi lost a fight in his home country that many felt he deserved to win.
Gomi’s loss leaves the Sengoku lightweight title picture in a state of confusion. The promotion also held the semifinals and finals of its first-ever lightweight Grand Prix on today’s card, with Satoru Kitaoka defeating Kazunori Yokota in the final via unanimous decision. Gomi had been expected to fight the winner of the lightweight Grand Prix for the vacant Sengoku lightweight title on Jan. 4. The status of that matchup is less than certain.
Gomi, considered by many leading polls to to be the number two lightweight in the world, is technically 2-1 with one no contest in his last four fights but would be 2-2 had the Nevada State Athletic Commission not moved to overturn his 2007 submission loss to Nick Diaz at PRIDE 33.
Diaz submitted Gomi with a gogoplata at 1:46 of round 2 during PRIDE’s second and last event held on U.S. soil but NSAC ruled to declare the result a no contest in the weeks that proceeded the bout after Diaz tested for an abnormally high-level of THC.
Prior to the loss vs. Golyaev, Gomi was 2-0 while competing under the Sengoku banner. He defeated Duane Ludwig during the promotion’s first show this past March after Ludwig was TKO’d due to a cut. Gomi returned to action at Sengoku IV in August and recorded an underwhelming unanimous decision victory over Seung Hwan Bang.
While one of Sengoku’s top stars in Gomi went down in defeat, one of the promotion’s up-and-coming prospects improved his record to 2-0 with another impressive victory, as former amateur wrestling standout Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal recorded a third round TKO over Chute Boxe’s Fabio Silva.
Lawal made his professional mixed martial arts debut in September at Sengoku V, where he defeated former YAMMA heavyweight champion Travis Wiuff via TKO at just 2:11 into the contest.
In other Sengoku VI results news, Jorge Santiago won the finals of the promotion’s middleweight Grand Prix and is now expected to face Kazuo Misaki on Jan. 4 for the vacant Sengoku middleweight title. Former PRIDE superstar Antonio Rogerio Nogueira also made a triumphant return to Japan, recording a unanimous decision over French fighter Moise Rimbon.
Full results are as follows:
Lightweight Grand Prix Reserve Fight:
– Jorge Masvidal def. Bang Seung Hwan via unanimous decision
Lightweight Grand Prix Semi-Finals:
-Satoru Kitaoka def. Eiji Mitsuoka via submission (heel hook) at 1:17 of round 1
-Kazunori Yokota def. Mizuto Hirota via unanimous decision
Lightweight Grand Prix Final:
-Kitaoka def. Yokota via unanimous decision
Middleweight Grand Prix Reserve Fight:
-Joe Doerksen def. Izuru Takeuchi via TKO (strikes) at 4:13 of round 3
Middleweight Grand Prix Semi-Finals:
-Kazuhiro Nakamura def. Yuki Sasaki via unanimous decision
-Jorge Santiago def. Siyar Bahadurzada via submission (heel hook) at 1:10 of round 1
Middleweight Grand Prix Final:
– Santiago def. Nakamura via TKO (strikes) at 0:56 of round 3
– Antonio Rogerio Nogueira def. Moise Rimbon via unanimous decision
– Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal def. Fabio Silva via TKO (strikes) at 0:40 of round 3
-Sergey Golyaev def. Takanori Gomi via split decision