Takanori Gomi gets George Sotiropoulos at UFC 144

The UFC has been very patient with former PRIDE lightweight champ Takanori Gomi. Now, with the weight of back-to-back losses on his resume, Gomi will get the chance to compete in the friendly confines of his native Japan when he meets George Sotiropoulos at UFC 144.

The pairing was announced at the press conference in Japan for the increasingly epic show, an event going down February 26 from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. UFC 155-pound champ Frankie Edgar will defend his belt in the main event against Ben Henderson.

Gomi entered the UFC with plenty of hype, having won 31 fights his career over in Japan. However, “The Fireball Kid” has struggled inside the Octagon against some of the elite lightweights in the world, falling by submission to Kenny Florian, Clay Guida, and Nate Diaz. The lone win for Gomi came by knockout over Tyson Griffin in the summer of 2010.

Sotiropoulos could also be fighting for his UFC career as well, having dropped two in a row after winning seven consecutive fights on the heels of his appearance on The Ultimate Fighter with defeats to Dennis Siver and Rafael dos Anjos.

UFC 144 is also full of match-ups featuring some of Gomi’s fellow Japanese stars including Hatsu Hioki vs. Bart Palaszewski, Yushin Okami vs. Tim Boetsch, and Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Jake Shields.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

4 COMMENTS
  • GIKE MOLDBERG says:

    I can see Gomi getting the KO here-Either that or George just wrecks him with a quick sub-Should be interesting for as long as it lasts

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  • Rich S. says:

    Yeah, those are about the only two ways I see this ending.. Sotiro by quick sub or Gomi by KO..

    Sotiro does have decent boxing, but I worry about his defense, and his chin, of course.. and Gomi is not the guy you want to fight if your defense is weak..

    On the other hand, Gomi seems to have lost any submission defense he ever had (I distinctly remember seeing him in some grappling wars back in PRIDE, some of which he won), and is fair game for a jiu jitsu wizard like Sotiro..

    I’m a huge fan of both of these guys.. I would like to see Sotiro return to the “W” column, but more than anything I think I’d like to see Gomi man up and put on a show. That KO of Griffin was exhilarating, but I want more!

    I’m still puzzled by the decision to put Gomi up against elite grapplers time and time again.. I could understand if they wanted to test him, then kick him to the curb, but he’s still here after going 1-3 in four fights..

    Florian, then Griffin, then Guida, then Diaz, now Sotiro? Anybody else see how crazy that is? I know you can’t always pick and choose in this business, but give the guy a striker! Gomi/Stephens – can you imagine that? Gomi/Guillard? Gomi/Yves Edwards?

    Give the man a fight where, win or lose, he can please the crowd.

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  • Dufresne says:

    If Gomi can connect with one of this haymakers he can end just about anyone’s night, Sotiropoulos included. That said, Gomi’s boxing hasn’t looked as sharp lately and his submission defense has somehow gotten worse.

    I would say Sotiropoulos actually has the better boxing and the better ground game. The problem he’s gonna have going into this fight is that the only two KO’s in his career (dos Anjos and Tommy Speer back on TUF) have come from wild hooks when he dropped his hands while backing up.

    If he can keep his hands up and his chin tucked I see him winning this fight wherever it goes. Against Gomi he should be better all around, but he only has to screw up once or Gomi only needs to get lucky once to make all Sotiropoulos’s skill disappear.

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  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    Still waiting on Gomi to do something to impress me. The KO was nice but, all I see about Gomi is “he did this or that in Japan or PRIDE and it was awesome” fap fap fap.

    All I have seen is him getting dominated by top 10 guys.

    If he can’t beat KenFlo or Guida then his prospects at 155 are dim.

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