MMA veteran Takanori Gomi is set to make his Octagon return next month at UFC 172, as he replaces Danny Castillo to meet Isaac Vallie-Flagg at the event.
UFC officials announced Gomi to replace Castillo earlier today, the two will square off in the prelims of UFC 172 on April 26. Castillo is still expected to fight at the event but his opponent hasn’t yet been announced.
Featuring a light-heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Glover Teixeira, UFC 172 take place in the Baltimore Arena in Maryland. The main event will air on pay-per-view following prelims on Fox Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass.
Gomi will take his first fight in fourteen months after having some time away from the sport. The former Pride champion made his long awaited UFC debut in March 2010 taking on Kenny Florian in the main event of Fight Night 21, Gomi went on to lose the fight by submission.
The Japanese fighter got back to winning ways in his next fight, knocking out Tyson Griffin later that year. But since his win over Griffin, Gomi has gone 2-3 in the promotion. In his last fight, at UFC on Fuel TV 8, “The Fireball Kid” dropped a split decision to Diego Sanchez.
Vallie-Flagg will be looking to get back in the win column at the event, after suffering his first loss in twelve outings in his last fight against Elias Silverio. The Strikforce veteran made his Octagon debut in February last year, where he beat Yves Edwards with a split-decision.
The fights currently announced for UFC 172 are as followed:
Champ Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixeira – for light-heavyweight title
Phil Davis vs. Anthony Johnson
Jake Ellenberger vs. Tarec Saffiedine
Tim Boetsch vs. Luke Rockhold
Joseph Benavidez vs. Timothy Elliott
Bobby Green vs. Jim Miller
Joe Ellenberger vs. Yancy Medeiros
Takanori Gomi vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg
Danny Castillo vs. opponent TBA
Andre Fili vs. Max Holloway
Bethe Correia vs. Jessamyn Duke