Mixed martial artists come from every corner of the globe, bearing a variety of styles. Sometimes, fighters are products of their environment, favoring disciplines prevalent in the country or state from which they hail. Various regions of the United States are considered factories for great fighters, though that certainly is not the case with each state. In this weekly Sherdog.com series, the spotlight will shine on the best mixed martial artist of all-time from each of the 50 states. Fighters do not necessarily need to be born in a given state to represent it; they simply need to be associated with it.
The state of New Hampshire has produced its share of professional athletes over the years, including six-time Olympic medalist Bode Miller and 1979 American League Cy Young Award winner Mike Flanagan. However, mixed martial artists have been harder to come by.
Joey Gomez touched off his pro MMA career with six consecutive first-round knockouts, capturing regional titles in the East Coast Fighting Championship and Reality Fighting organizations. His 6-0 start had some important eyes looking his way, and before he knew it, “The KO King” found himself inside the Octagon of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Gomez made his promotional debut at UFC Fight Night 81 as a short-notice replacement for Patrick Williams and suffered his first career defeat, succumbing to second-round punches from Rob Font. He failed to bounce back in his next appearance at UFC Fight Night 94, where the Team Quest rep wound up on the wrong side of a unanimous decision against Jose Alberto Quinonez. Back-to-back losses have left Gomez at a crossroads, but at age 30, time remains on his side.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Perry Filkins, Peggy Morgan, Josh Grispi