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Report: Takanori Gomi UFC bound?

PRIDE FC has given its 160-pound champion — and number one ranked lightweight in the world — Takanori Gomi (27-3) the "go sign" to fight in the Octagon, according to a recent report.

We don't read Japanese, so we'll go with this summary from

Daily Sports reports in their Tuesday newspaper that Takanori Gomi has been given the "go-sign" by DSE to fight in UFC. In the pro-DSE report by DS, the paper claims that PRIDE will have Gomi fight on their 2/24 Las Vegas event and then send him into UFC as a PRIDE fighter to "make a raid on UFC" and overthrow UFC 155-pound champion Sean Sherk and fight BJ Penn. Unlike Mirko Cro Cop (who is fighting as a true UFC fighter), the paper claims that DSE will be Gomi's booking agent for any fights in UFC.

Gomi is widely considered to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in mixed martial arts. Dubbed "The Fireball Kid," the 28-year-old Japanese star has torn through a "Who's-Who" of lightweight fighters throughout his career.

Most recently, Gomi stopped Mitsuhiro Ishida in the first round via strikes at the PRIDE New Year's Eve 2006 Shockwave show.

On the surface, this has a lot of similarities to the Wanderlei Silva project, which turned out to be a total train wreck. At UFC 61, Dana White made the shocking announcement that UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell would fight the PRIDE 205-pound champion.

For various reasons, the fight never panned out and it ultimately turned into a verbal pissing match between Zuffa and Dream Stage Entertainment (DSE) — the company that owns PRIDE.

Recently, the UFC lured away one of PRIDE's best fighters — Mirko "Cro Cop' Filipovic — further souring an already strained relationship.

I'm not sure if this is merely saber rattling on the part of DSE or a desperate move to try and gain some traction in its losing war to be recognized as the premier MMA promotion in the world.

Perhaps, it's both ... and more.

The idea of Gomi fighting in the UFC, however, is nuts. He's an awesome fighter who would give current UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk all he could handle.

And if this fight was to ever happen, and Gomi beat Sherk, it would give PRIDE the spark it needs to get back on track.

Does the UFC want — or even need — to take that kind of risk?

Certainly not.

But, as a fight fan, I'd love to see Gomi fight Sherk, Penn and whoever else.

I just don't think it'll happen anytime soon.

Check out this potentially prophetic article on today.

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