Nick Diaz has just defeated Pride Legend Takanori Gomi via first-round submission.
Diaz was able to outclass Gomi in all areas, picking him apart on the feet, before catching him in a triangle choke and transitioning to an armbar.
It was definitely the most impressive performance of Diaz' career. Most importantly, after an unsuccessful stint in the welterweight division, this was a win he desperately needed.
It was an awesome fight and an excellent way to start off the main card of UFC 135.
What We'll Remember About This Fight?
What we'll remember most is how dominant Nate Diaz was.
Gomi is a legend in the lightweight division and one of the most respected fighters in MMA history, but Diaz was able to make him look almost amateurish.
In particular, Gomi is considered to be a dangerous striker, but Diaz was able to land punches at will throughout the first round, taunting Gomi at certain points.
When Gomi went for the takedown it almost looked like Diaz let him get it and then he slapped on a triangle choke instantly when the fight hit the ground.
A lot of people were expecting that Diaz would win this fight, but I don't think anyone thought that he would shut down Gomi the way he did.
What We Learned About Nate Diaz?
Nate Diaz belongs in the lightweight division.
He tried his hand and welterweight and it didn't work out for him. Then in his first fight back at lightweight, he looked amazing.
Ideally, a fighter always wants to be fighting at the lightest weight possible in order to maximize their potential size advantage, assuming they can make that weight without sacrificing their cardio.
Diaz is a tall, lanky fighter and so 155lbs. is a good weight for him because the fighters are smaller and he'll be able to use his reach more effectively.
Diaz was too small for 170lbs. and couldn't contend with the larger grapplers in that division.
What We Learned About Takanori Gomi?
Takanori Gomi will never be a legitimate threat in the UFC's lightweight division.
The guy is passed his prime and no longer capable of competing against the best lightweights in the world.
Gomi had his time, but the sport has passed him by.
Considering that Gomi is 1-3 in the UFC right now, there's a good chance he'll be cut after this evening's loss.
If he doesn't get cut, I don't think he'll last more than two more fights in the UFC.
What's Next for Nate Diaz?
Diaz put on one hell of a performance, but the UFC's lightweight division is arguably the promotion's most stacked, so Diaz will have to take his time in making it to the top of the division.
For Diaz' next fight, he'll likely receive a mid to high level fighter.
Name's like Joe Lauzon, Donald Cerrone, Charles Oliveira and Jim Miller come to mind.
What's Next for Takanori Gomi?
If he's smart: retirement.
It's obvious that Gomi is out of his prime and on the decline, so retirement would be a good option for him.
If he continues to fight, he will likely only succeed in tarnishing his legacy.
In the event that Gomi decides to continue fighting and doesn't get cut by the UFC, his next opponent will be a mid level fighter, maybe even low level.
I could see him getting fights with the likes of Nik Lentz, Matt Wiman and Mac Danzig.
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