Newly-signed Japanese import Takanori Gomi will make his long-awaited Octagon debut tonight when he meets Kenny Florian at “UFC Fight Night 21″ inside the Bojangles Coliseum Charlotte, North Carolina.
Just three years ago, Gomi was considered by most MMA pundits as the planet’s baddest lightweight. Although he still owns a dominant 31-5 professional record, Nick Diaz wiped away much of the mystique when he submitted Gomi with a gogoplata at Pride 33, only to have it overturned to a No Contest when Diaz tested positive for weed shortly after.
Despite the 31 wins on Gomi’s resume, 14 of those wins came by way of the judges’ scorecards. He understands that he will need to pick up the pace against Florian because Kenny’s not one to leave his fate in the hands of three officials sitting Octagon-side.
Although “The Fireball Kid” is a modest .500 over his last four bouts, Gomi is confident he’ll make quite the splash in his UFC debut.
“By knockout in the first round,” Gomi told Kamipro.com. on how he intended to end Florian’s evening.
Florian, a two-time UFC lightweight top contender, stakes claim to a 12-4 record, but what’s most impressive is the fact he’s ended all but one of his victories before the final horn. In addition, half of his losses have come in five-round title fights, including his UFC 101 loss to reigning king BJ Penn this past August.