What To Do With Takanori Gomi: Five Options for the UFC

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What To Do With Takanori Gomi: Five Options for the UFC
Gomi showing his trademark power to earn his first UFC win over Tyson Griffin.

When Takanori Gomi's debut in the UFC was announced to be against Kenny Florian, I was disgruntled. Why should they not give Gomi an easier entrance into the Octagon? Kenny is a bad matchup for him anyway, and UFC debuts are rarely the stage for a fighter's best performance.

After he lost that fight so decidedly, I figured like everyone else that he was long faded from his heyday in Pride. I was not quiet in voicing my opinion that a legend like Gomi should only be fighting other names that had long paid their dues in the sport, not up and coming talent that could build a name off of Gomi.

When Joe Stevenson was announced, I agreed with the choice. Stevenson worked his way up and had been fighting professionally since he was 16. Also, Stevenson was already a name and seemed to be at the appropriate skill level for a faded Gomi.

So when Stevenson was forced to pull out of the fight, and the UFC replaced him with Tyson Griffin, I was once again disappointed in the UFC's choice. Griffin did not deserve the fight. As a fan, I wanted a fight that favored Gomi so that he could get some momentum behind him in the states.

Well, you can imagine how excited I was to see Gomi ignore the odds and knock Griffin out in classic first-round fashion. It was one for the Pride fans, even if I begrudgingly admit it.

However, now that Gomi has achieved a spectacular win over young and talented fighter in his prime, the rules have changed. Gomi now puts himself in a position to where he is being taken seriously as a contender in the division, and it is not solely about seeing a once great fighter trying to earn respect from new American fans—and earn a paycheck.

Now I'm OK with Gomi fighting basically anyone in the lightweight division. It would be nice for him to fight someone with similar experience as him, but I would also like to see him try to get another big win over another fighter trying to climb up the contender ladder.

Here are the top five fights that I think would make sense for Gomi's next step.

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