When the UFC arrives in Macau, China, lightweight warriors Takanori Gomi and Mac Danzig are set to square off.
Gomi is a legend of Pride and Danzig is a former Ultimate Fighter winner, which makes this matchup interesting. Gomi is definitely past his prime, while Danzig is looking to continue his climb up the 155-pound ranks.
Here is a head-to-toe breakdown of this lightweight scrap, which promises to be a good one.
Both Takanori Gomi and Mac Danzig are solid boxers with knockout ability. Both primarily use their hands when striking, and rarely kick.
Gomi is notorious for the dynamite he has in his hands. In his career, he owns 13 brutal knockouts over such names as Tyson Griffin, Hayato Sakurai and Jens Pulver.
While Gomi is known for his scary knockout power, he faces another sound boxer in Danzig.
More technical than he is known for his brute power, Danzig owns five wins by knockout, even though he likes to control his opponents with quicker striking attacks. His most memorable knockout came against Joe Stevenson, when he clipped him coming in and sent him head first to the canvas.
Technical striking is important, but Gomi's one-punch bombs can end the fight with one touch of the chin.
One thing many people forget about Takanori Gomi is that he possesses an impressive wrestling background and that he is an A-Class shootist.
Gomi has solid takedown and smothering top-game ability. He is unlikely to employ this, but if he finds himself in trouble, it is a good Plan B.
Danzig himself is not a great wrestler, but he does have pretty good takedown defense. This was especially notable in his latest outing against Efrain Escudero, when he fended the wrestler off and implemented his own game plan.
That being said, I think Gomi's offensive wrestling is better than Danzig's defensive skill set. He will get the nod here.
If there is one thing that has consistently haunted Takanori Gomi, it is that he regularly loses by submission.
Of the Japanese star's eight losses, six have come via submission. This includes UFC losses to Kenny Florian, Clay Guida and Nate Diaz.
Danzig, on the other hand, is a savvy grappler with underrated submission skills. He owns 10 career submission wins, including UFC tapouts of Mark Bocek and Tommy Speer.
Gomi is not a bad grappler, but it is definitely an advantage that belongs to the American.
The first intangible I would normally include with any Japanese fighter is the travelling involved, which seems to usually put them at a disadvantage.
Luckily for Gomi, with the fight being held in Macau, China, he has a shorter distance to travel than his opponent.
The next intangible is wear and tear. Although Gomi is 33 years old, he is a long-time combat sports vet who has been in his fair share of wars. It has shown lately, as he has slowed down.
Finally, home turf may be the last key in this fight. Even though Gomi is from Japan, I expect a decent amount of Japanese fans to attend. Even if they don't, Danzig will likely not have many fans anyway.
There is a good chance this will be a great fight. The individual style of each participant makes a fight what it is, and this one presents a solid style matchup.
I expect Gomi to come out aggressively, throwing bombs with the aim of destroying Danzig's chin. If he doesn't put Danzig to sleep in the first couple of minutes, expect him to pump the brakes.
Danzig won't want to risk getting blown out of the water, so he may look for clinching and takedowns. Gomi, who is strong and will be prepared, may fight them off and look to clip him moving out.
At some point, Gomi will land a bomb and follow it with finishing punches.
Prediction: Gomi def. Danzig via knockout