Imagining an MMA Hall of Fame: Best of the Rest

Takanori Gomi

By Todd Martin Aug 4, 2014
Takanori Gomi ruled over the lightweight division in Japan. | Photo: Daniel Herbertson/

Takanori Gomi
“The Fireball Kid”
Shooto (1998-99, 1999, 2000-03, 2009); Icon Sport (1999); Vale Tudo Japan (1999, 2009); Rumble on the Rock (2003); Pride Fighting Championships (2004-07); Sengoku (2008-09); Ultimate Fighting Championship (2010-Current)


Gomi was one of Pride Fighting Championships’ most successful fighters. An exciting standup brawler, his brutal knockouts made him the Japanese lightweight division’s biggest star. He won 10 straight fights in Pride, including clean knockouts of Jens Pulver and Hayato Sakurai, plus a submission over dangerous Shooto invader Tatsuya Kawajiri. He won the 2005 Pride lightweight grand prix and defended his title until the organization closed two years later. Gomi dominated an era, and he did it in style.

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