If you ask Takanori Gomi, his 64 second knockout of Tyson Griffin Sunday night at “UFC on Versus: Jones vs. Matyushenko” was his official Octagon debut.
Once considered the planet’s top lightweight, the former Pride champion had fallen on some hard times after dropping three of his last five fights. While most thought “The Fireball” had no more propane left in the tank, Gomi went circa 2005 inside the San Diego Sports Arena while sending a message to his 155-pound peers.
“He’s a good fighter. I knew it was going to be a challenge,” Gomi said after his bumping his record to 32-6. “I worked really, really hard hoping this would happen.”
Former lightweight top contender Kenny Florian trounced the Japanese stud in his Octagon debut at “UFC Fight Night 21” in March, however Gomi claims tonight was his official stateside coming out party. With all due respect to Mr. Florian, of course.
“This is what I consider my start in the UFC. The first time I was here, I didn’t know how to fight American,” Gomi said of his disappointing performance against KenFlo. “You saw what happened today. I think I got the hang of it.”
As the old saying goes, one loss doesn’t put you in a slump and one win doesn’t get you out of it. It will be up to the soon-to-be 32-year-old to prove his game is here to stay as he competes in one of the UFC’s deepest divisions.