Many MMA fans were salivating when they heard that Takanori Gomi was coming to the octagon. Six fights into his tenure, and most of those same fans are looking less optimistic than they were before. At three wins and three losses apiece, many have written off Gomi as just another promising fighter playing gatekeeper at 155 pounds. All of his losses (Kenny Florian, Clay Guida, Nate Diaz) have been by submission, and these losses were, for the most part, very one-sided. See Gomi’s fight with Clay Guida if you need any further evidence. But within each of his UFC fights, there are a few striking stanzas that give off the impression that the “Fireball Kid” of old is coming back. But Gomi’s recent decision victory over Mac Danzig was the best Gomi that the UFC has seen yet.
Upon re-examining the fight, Gomi showed a lot more patience and faith in his boxing, which breeds some optimism knowing that Gomi continues to grow as a boxer, and yet, we also saw Gomi work an offensive ground game. Gomi is not known at all for having any semblance of ground game, while Danzig is known to be a competent grappler. And while his fledgling takedown skills do need work, Gomi attempting a little reinvention shows that he wants to be in the UFC, and that he does not want this run to go down as just a disappointing footnote in his career.
“The Fireball Kid” is now looking at his first win streak in the UFC. It may only be two wins, but this also means that we may be seeing some tougher competition for Gomi, and now, all of the hardcore MMA pundits who were so hungry to see where Gomi stands amongst the UFC Lightweight Division may finally get some questions answered.