UFC 172 fight card: Takanori Gomi returns against Isaac Vallie-Flagg in April, Danny Castillo to get new opponent

Koki Nagahama


Takanori Gomi will return to the Octagon after more than one year on the mixed martial arts (MMA) sidelines, meeting Isaac Vallie-Flagg in a Lightweight showdown set for UFC 172, which takes place at Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Md., on April 26, 2014.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) made the announcement earlier this evening on its official website (read it here).

Gomi has not seen action since dropping a controversial split decision to Diego Sanchez at UFC on Fuel TV 8, which disappointed the proud hometown crowd assembled inside Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. Prior to the loss, "Fireball Kid" had strung together back-to-back UFC wins over Eiji Mitsuoka and Mac Danzig.

The former Pride FC poster boy, now 35, has underwhelmed since his high-profile Octagon debut back in 2010, losing four bouts and winning just three.

Flagg, meanwhile, just suffered his first loss in 13 tries, dropping a unanimous decision to Elias Silverio at UFC Fight Night 35 earlier this year. The Strikeforce import was victorious in his only other Octagon appearance, a split decision over Yves Edwards at UFC 156 in Feb. 2013.

Flagg was originally booked to battle Danny Castillo at UFC 172; however, he was paired up with Gomi instead with six weeks until showtime. Castillo will remain on the card against an opponent to be determined shortly, according to the promotion.

UFC 172 will be headlined by Jon Jones, who will make his first title defense since his close call against Alexander Gustafsson last September, taking on hard-hitting Glover Teixeira, who hasn't lost in nearly nine years. In the co-main event, top 205-pound contender, Phil Davis, will welcome back Anthony Johnson, who reeled of six straight wins on the regional circuit to earn a second UFC audition.

To check out the latest UFC 172: "Jones vs. Teixeira" fight card and rumors click here.

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