Takanori Gomi and Gabi Garcia among additions to Rizin FF's year-end doubleheader

The fight cards continue to take shape for Rizin FF’s year-end doubleheader, and they include some notable names.

Rizin FF 8 takes place Dec. 29, and Rizin FF 9 takes place Dec. 31. Both shows stream on FITE TV in North America from Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

Slated for Rizin FF 9 is a bout between former PRIDE champion and recent UFC lightweight Takanori Gomi (35-14), who looks to halt a five-fight skid, when he takes on Yusuke Yachi (18-6), a fellow Japanese fighter who’s currently riding a four-fight winning streak with knockout wins over Mario Sismundo, Daron Cruickshank and Satoru Kitaoka.

Rizin FF 9 will also include a single-night kickboxing tournament with Mitsuhisa Sunabe vs. Yamato Fujita and Tenshin Nasukawa vs. TBA.

New Rizin FF 8 matchups, meanwhile, include Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist Gabi Garcia (4-0) vs. Shinobu Kandori (4-1) and flyweights Seiichiro Ito (12-1-2) vs. Kai Asakura (8-1)

Garcia and was supposed to fight Kandori in 2016 at Rizin FF’s year-end event, but Kandori was forced off the card with an injury. According to the release, their rebooked bout is slated for 95 kilograms (209.4 pounds).

The latest Rizin FF 8 card (MMA only) includes:

  • Gabi Garcia vs. Shinobu Kandori
  • Kai Asakura vs. Seiichiro Ito
  • Cindy Dandois vs. Reina Miura
  • Karl Albrektsson vs. Jiri Prochazka
  • Anthony Birchak vs. Jae Hoon Moon – bantamweight grand prix quarterfinal reserve bout
  • Shintaro Ishiwatari vs. Kevin Petshi – bantamweight grand prix quarterfinal (bracket B)
  • Takafumi Otsuka vs. Khalid Taha – bantamweight grand prix quarterfinal (bracket B)
  • Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Gabriel Oliveira – bantamweight grand prix quarterfinal (bracket A)
  • Manel Kape vs. Ian McCall – bantamweight grand prix quarterfinal (bracket A)

The latest Rizin FF 9 (MMA only) card includes:

  • Takanori Gomi vs. Yusuke Yachi
  • Shinju Nozawa-Auclair vs. Chelsea LaGrasse
  • Mirko Cro Cop vs. Tsuyoshi Kohsaka
  • TBA vs. TBA – women’s super atomweight grand prix final
  • Kanna Asakura vs. Maria Oliveira
  • Irene Cabello vs. Rena Kubota
  • TBA vs. TBA – bantamweight grand prix final
  • TBA vs. TBA – bantamweight grand prix semifinal
  • TBA vs. TBA – bantamweight grand prix semifinal

For more on Rizin FF 8 and Rizin FF 9, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News
Source: MMA Junkie

Admit it, we want Takanori Gomi to retire for our benefit – not his

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The day before his fight at UFC Fight Night 117, “The Fireball Kid” turned 39.

Let that sink in for a second. Takanori Gomi, who lost his fifth consecutive fight via first-round stoppage, is now nearly 40 years old and still playing this game of diminishing returns. He gets dropped easier and easier. His fights are over quicker. The best thing you can say about his TKO loss to Dong Hyun Kim is that at least it ended before he had a chance to take too much damage.

Afterwards, Gomi stood there staring at the canvas, and all fans could do was hope that this was the one that might convince him to stop.

This is not unfamiliar territory for combat sports, but it doesn’t get any easier just because we’ve seen it before. That’s especially true for Gomi (35-14 MMA, 4-9 UFC), who was beautiful once but now mostly gets trotted out when the UFC needs an easy reminder of the Japanese scene’s former glory.

Gomi hasn’t won a fight in over three years. He’s been finished by strikes in four of his last five. His name value has prevented the UFC from giving him any easy fight since he came over in 2010, when his best days already seemed behind him. Now the damage has clearly piled up along with the losses, and the one-punch power that used to come to his rescue is as long gone as the days of big MMA crowds at Saitama Super Arena.

Looking on social media right after the fight, I saw the same sentiment repeated over and over in different words. We want to see Gomi retire, and we want it at least as much for our own good as for his.

This, too, is familiar territory. It’s hard to watch our heroes get old. We know it has to happen, but can’t they at least have the decency to do it in private where we don’t have to watch? They’re bumming us out, man. This isn’t what we signed up for.

Except that, really, we did.

This is how it goes. This is the unfortunate part of the fighter life cycle that so few manage to avoid. If you get famous enough that people will still pay to see you because of who you used to be, it’s hard to stop cashing the checks and dreaming of glory.

Only now we’re sick of it. It’s not just that we don’t want to see Gomi continue to hurt himself, though that’s a part of it too. But mainly it’s that we don’t want him to keep showing up as an all too real reminder of decay and decline.

Watching a formerly great fighter go steeply downhill feels like someone poisoning your memories. It forces us to keep two different versions of the same fighter in our heads: the old Gomi and the old Gomi.

That’s the main reason we’d like him to quit. We’d rather not watch him destroy himself along with our preferred concept of him. Each time he loses another one and then walks off without retiring, it feels like a promise that there’s worse yet to come.

And that may very well be true. But for our own selfish reasons, we’d really rather not be reminded of it.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 117, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 117 results: 'Maestro' Dong Hyun Kim takes out Takanori Gomi in 90 seconds

The “Maestro” played a masterful concerto against a Japanese legend and made things look easy.

”Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim (15-8-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) picked up a smooth first-round TKO of Takanori Gomi (35-14 MMA, 4-9 UFC), who saw his struggles continue. A straight right hand from Kim led to ground-and-pound that put “The Fireball Kid” away just 90 seconds into the fight.

The lightweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 117 event at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, near Tokyo. It aired on FXX following prelims on the same channel.

Kim started in the middle and kept Kim outside. Kim stayed patient early, tossing out a couple low kicks. Gomi sneaked a right hand through a minute in, then dipped away from a pair of Kim left jabs.

But seconds later, Kim circled to the right, then planted his foot and planted Gomi on the canvas with a straight right. It took him only a handful of hammer fists on the ground for Steve Perceval to shut the fight down. The TKO was the ninth first-round finish in Kim’s career.

Kim won for the second straight time after a two-fight skid to open his UFC tenure. Gomi lost for the fifth straight time and sixth time in his past seven fights.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 117 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 117, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Ken Hathaway contributed to this report on site in Japan.)

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Takanori Gomi vs. 'Maestro' Dong Hyun Kim added to UFC Fight Night 117 in Japan

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Two veterans of the Asian MMA circuit will meet at the UFC’s upcoming return to Japan.

Officials today announced a matchup between lightweights Takanori Gomi (35-13 MMA, 4-8 UFC) and ”Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim (14-8 MMA, 1-2 UFC) for UFC Fight Night 117.

The event takes place Sept. 22 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, near Tokyo. It’s expected to air on FXX following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the fight card and bout order haven’t been finalized.

Gomi, a 38-year-old Japanese fighter, turned pro 19 years ago and reigned as a PRIDE and Shooto champion during a storied career. However, he’s struggled in the UFC, where despite some memorable appearances, he’s currently in a four-fight skid following losses to Myles Jury, Joe Lauzon, Jim Miller and Jon Tuck – all via stoppage. He hasn’t posted a victory since edging Isaac Vallie-Flagg via decision in a “Fight of the Night” performance at UFC 172 in 2014.

“The Fireball Kid” now meets Kim, a 28-year-old from South Korea who made his pro debut more than a decade ago with his longtime Spirit MC home. After suffering knockout losses to Dominique Steele and Marco Polo Reyes (in a “Fight of the Night”) in his first two UFC fights, the lanky 155-pounder picked up his long-awaited first UFC victory after edging Brendan O’Reilly on the scorecards in December. Kim’s subsequent booking against Thibault Gouti in June was scrapped on fight day when his opponent fell ill.

The latest UFC Fight Night 117 card includes:

  • Mauricio Rua vs. Ovince Saint Preux
  • Jessica Andrade vs. Claudia Gadelha
  • Henrique da Silva vs. Gokhan Saki
  • Rolando Dy vs. Teruto Ishihara
  • Mizuto Hirota vs. Charles Rosa
  • Alex Morono vs. Keita Nakamura
  • Jussier Formiga vs. Ulka Sasaki
  • Chan-Mi Jeon vs. Syuri Kondo
  • Daichi Abe vs. Hyun Gyu Lim
  • Shinsho Anzai vs. Luke Jumeau
  • Takanori Gomi at “Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim

For more on UFC Fight Night 117, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 111's Jon Tuck isn't ready to say Takanori Gomi should retire

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Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

SINGAPORE – UFC lightweight Jon Tuck just handed former PRIDE champ Takanori Gomi his fourth straight octagon loss.

At 38, Gomi is running out of chances to right his storied career. But Tuck doesn’t think the legend should be pressured into retiring.

“I wouldn’t say he should hang up his gloves, because I know what kind of fighter I am, without sounding like I’m cocky,” said Tuck (10-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC), who submitted Gomi (35-13 MMA, 4-8 UFC) in the first round of their UFC Fight Pass-streamed bout at UFC Fight Night 111. “I know that I belong in the top – it’s just me being able to prove it in the octagon. He’s got a wealth of experience.”

UFC Fight Night 111 took place Saturday at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore.

Tuck has eight octagon appearances in total, but he looked like a veteran slicing through Gomi with kicks and punches before cinching the fight-ending submission.

Still, the 32-year-old from Guam said Gomi still has a lot to offer in the cage and should be in control of his career. He even entertained the idea of the Japanese vet making a comeback.

“Like Michael Bisping, Michael just got a championship after how many years of trying,” Tuck said. “Demian Maia, look how great he is. Because I beat Takanori, it doesn’t mean he should hang up his gloves. But if he does hang up his gloves, I’m honored that he was able to step inside the octagon and share it with me.

“I still think he’s got a lot in him – it just depends on how (far) he wants to take it.”

One thing is for sure: Tuck is going places after stopping Gomi and snapping a two-fight win streak. Check out the video above for more from the fighter.

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 111, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 111 results: Jon Tuck cruises, hands Takanori Gomi 4th straight loss

Takanori Gomi’s dismal UFC run continued its slide.

Gomi (35-13 MMA, 4-8 UFC) suffered a quick loss to Jon Tuck (10-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC), who handed the Japanese MMA legend his fourth straight loss.

The lightweight bout closed out the preliminary card of today’s UFC Fight Night 111 event at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

Tuck attacked early in the fight, and he had Gomi wincing within the first minute of the bout due to a body kick. He eventually took out the vet with a rear-naked choke after forcing the fight to the canvas moments later.

The stoppage came just 72 seconds into the fight.

Tuck halts a two-fight skid and picks up one of the most notable victories of his five-year, eight-bout UFC career. Meanwhile, with four straight losses and overall 3-7 skid, Gomi’s days in the UFC could be numbered.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 111 results include:

For complete coverage UFC Fight Night 111, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan contributed to this report on site in Singapore.)

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie