Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone, as UFC Fight Night 117 blew the roof of Saitama Super Arena this past weekend (Fri. Sept. 22, 217) in Saitama, Japan.
Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Yushin Okami, who was choked out by Ovince Saint Preux in the very first round of their headlining Light Heavyweight bout (see it). And Claudia Gadelha, who was left a bloody mess after her three-round scrap against Jessica Andrade.
But which fighter is suffering from he worst post-fight hangover, now two days removed from the show?
Going into his fight against Dong Hyun Kim, “The Fireball Kid” was on the worst losing skid of his career, dropping his previous four bouts inside the Octagon. And in the blink of an eye, things went from bad to disastrous for the former PRIDE FC Lightweight champion.
In the very first round, Kim clipped Gomi with a hard right and ultimately ended the fight with a barrage of punches in what seemed like an early stoppage. But, after further review, the referee made the right call, as Takanori was covering up for dear life.
That is now five straight losses for the 39-year old, all via finish, all in the very first round. Gomi’s downfall has happened over the course of the last three years. Still, it’s not hard to see that Gomi hasn’t been the same in the decade that Pride FC shut down.
8-11 is the mark Gomi has collected since his last bout in PRIDE, going 4-9 inside the Octagon, failing to live up to any hype many in the organization had for him going into his UFC career. Where he goes from here is anyone’s guess, but if I had my druthers, I’d like to see “Fireball Kid” hang his gloves up for good.
He’s not just losing, he’s getting finished, and fast. And to be honest, it just doesn’t seem like Gomi has the passion for it anymore. While I could be wrong, the evidence in his performances suggest otherwise. Granted, we all get older and getting old is something all fighters have to come to terms with, as the combat world is as unforgiving as any sport.
It’s a young man sport, though there are a select few veterans who are still kicking ass and taking names. That said, a turnaround for Gomi simply doesn’t seem to be on the agenda. While he can work somewhere else, it seems retirement is the best option, for his health's sake.
No one wants to see him getting finished in lighting-fast fashion, and no one wants to see him try to get back on track. And why would he want to try? He’s not ranked in the top 15 and has yet to earn a title defense and the climb out of the deep hole is just too hard in the 155-pound division.
Gomi has provided fight fans with countless highlight reel knockouts and impressive wins over in “The Land of the Rising Sun” to keep us entertained for a while. And though someone as battle-tested as Gomi could perhaps keep fighting, at this point it will be strictly for the paycheck, as he won’t be climbing the rankings soon or title race anytime soon.
He’s done enough, he lost enough, it’s simply time to move on.
For complete UFC Fight Night 117 “Saint Preux vs. Okami” results and play-by-play, click HERE!