Former PRIDE FC lightweight champion Takanori Gomi (30-5) has agreed to make his Affliction debut against Rafaello Oliveira (8-1) at "Trilogy" from the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Aug. 1, the organization today confirmed.
"The Fireball Kid" recently snapped a two-fight losing skid in the Sengoku promotion.
After dropping a split decision to Russian journeyman Sergey Golyaev (13-7) at Sengoku 6 last November, Gomi came up lame against Satoru Kitaoka at Sengoku "Rebellion" in January, tapping out to an Achilles lock just 1:41 into the very first round.
It was a major setback for a fighter as revered as he is. Gomi didn’t look like the same dominant fighter who once tore through PRIDE’s lightweight ranks with ease, which led to people questioning his heart and whether he still had what it takes to compete on an active level.
Gomi managed to silence some of his critics and get back to his winning ways by obliterating Takashi Nakakura with a barrage of strikes in an exciting showdown this past May when he went back to his roots and paid homage to the organization that kickstarted his career at Shooto "Final Tradition."
Now with that victory it appears he’s refocused and motivated to once again climb up the lightweight ladder, continuing that journey when he clashes against Rafaello Oliveira at Affliction 3: "Trilogy."
"The Tractor" has already competed three times in 2009, taking all three contests including a unanimous decision win over John Mahlow at Xtreme Fighting Championships (XFC) from the Thompson-Bowling Arena last April in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Oliveira, who's only loss came to the up-and-coming Lyle Beerbohm at Sho XC in October 2008, now faces the biggest challenge of his career against Gomi and a win would boost his stock considerably.
Affliction 3: "Trilogy" will feature a main event between WAMMA Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko and top-ranked division player, Josh Barnett. Former Dream middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi is also expected to make his fighting debut on American shores against Renato "Babalu" Sobral in a light heavyweight showdown.
To check out the latest fight card and rumours for Affliction 3: "Trilogy" click here.