TOKYO, March 5 -- With World Victory Road's inaugural event in the books, the fighters of Sengoku wished their new home show continued success in their post-fight comments Wednesday evening.

Japanese lightweight ace Takanori Gomi (Pictures) defeated Duane Ludwig (Pictures) by TKO in the first round and appeared satisfied with his return performance against the American after a 14-month layoff.

With the world's top lightweights either in the UFC or K-1's new promotion, Dream, Gomi is apparently the only top lightweight in World Victory Road's upstart Sengoku show. Asked if he would lack challenges in the promotion, a confident but elusive Gomi replied that he did not believe it would be a problem and that future challenges would surely find their way to him in Sengoku.

"If we continue to have a clean, wonderful event like this, of course the fans will be gathering from all around to see the fights," Gomi said. "And of course if the fans are coming, the events will be bigger, and of course other fighters will want to fight in this event.

"That's why I'm not worried about that kind of stuff right now."

With Dream locking down the country's lightweight talent for its stacked lightweight grand prix, the winner of the yearlong tournament could most likely be the usurper to Gomi's throne. Despite efforts to tease out a prediction from the Pride lightweight champ, Gomi would not comment or support any particular fighter.

"I can't predict who's going to win because most of the fighters I know," Gomi said with a wry smile. "All those young fighters are doing their best to have great fights there, so really, I just want to go see the fights and cheer them on."

As for top-10 lightweights across the Pacific, questions about UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn (Pictures) also arose in the post-fight discussion. Gomi, who lost to a dominating Penn in 2003, mildly expressed his desire for a rematch against the Hawaiian.

"I just came back to fight after a long layoff and I'd like to make myself more fit and more of a complete fighter before fighting B.J. Penn (Pictures)," Gomi said. "For this fight [with Ludwig], I sparred and did weight training. I was concerned about the physical aspects of my body. I want to perfect [it] before a fight with B.J. Penn (Pictures)."

Regarding the UFC, Gomi had been quoted in the past as only wanting to attend the event in Las Vegas rather than actually compete in the Octagon. Gomi mentioned Wednesday his continued desire to frequent the American event, and his New Year's Eve attendance of UFC 79 was just the beginning of what he would like to be a regular occurrence.

"Actually, I'd like to ask the organizers of Sengoku not to [give me] a fight on New Year's Eve because I want to go to Las Vegas to see the fights in the UFC," the Japanese star replied with an embarrassed chuckle.

"Of course I'd like to fight, but at the same time on NYE, I want to go see the UFC for sure."

After defeating judo gold medalist Hidehiko Yoshida (Pictures) by a heel hook in the third round, the MMA avatar of catch wrestling, Josh Barnett (Pictures), also lent his continued support to WVR's Sengoku.

"Every week, till the end of the year, 150 fights, until the contract ends," quipped Barnett about his contractual commitment to Sengoku before returning to seriousness. "At this point, I'm looking forward to helping push Sengoku forward. That's what I'm here for."

Barnett also commented on the evening's announcement of Kevin Randleman (Pictures) and Roger Gracie (Pictures) as additions to the Sengoku lineup, stating that while he would prefer not to fight another friend in Randleman, he is certainly prepared to take on either fighter.

"Either one is fine, but Randleman I've known a very long time," Barnett said. "We're friends, and it's kind of like fighting Yoshida-san again. You don't want to have to fight your friends, but of course, we're professionals. That just can't be avoided."

Barnett also had what appeared to be uncharacteristic praise for Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighter Roger Gracie (Pictures).

"Anybody would love to fight a Gracie," he said. "That's a great name. He's got a great resume for grappling. As a fighter, he's young and untested and inexperienced, but I don't think he's a weak guy. I think he'd give the best fight he could, and the Gracie name is not where it is today because they're slouches."

Barnett explained that while his immediate future is unclear, he hopes to return to fighting soon.

"Right now, it's icing the injuries. I have to recover," Barnett said of what's next for him. "I want to look forward to the next opportunity to fight, either in Sengoku or who knows where. But I have to stay sharp.

"The one thing I have planned is April 12 in Osaka, for the Inoki Genome Federation," the heavyweight noted, taking the time to promote his professional wrestling endeavors.

WVR heads of state Naoya Kinoshita and Tokuhiro Kokuho also announced their plans for their second and third events. Tentatively scheduled for May 18 and June 8, WVR will hold Sengoku shows at Ariake Coliseum and Saitama Super Arena -- the current home venue of Dream -- respectively, with the intention of hosting a grand prix in a to-be-determined weight class.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Georgi Karakhanyan Plans Move to Lightweight Following Featherweight Fight in Israel | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 3 views

Following his Bellator 164 bout in Israel, Georgi Karakhanyan plans to leave featherweight behind and make the move to lightweight for some pivotal bouts. read news >>

Eduard Folayang Plans to Prove the World Wrong in Shinya Aoki Title Shot | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 5 views

Eduard Folayang knows that he is considered a long shot to defeat Shinya Aoki at ONE: Defending Honor, but he plans to prove the doubters wrong. read news >>

Former champ Miesha Tate plans to take some down time after UFC 205

  • 28 days ago
  • 10 views

NEW YORK – After a busy year, former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate is planning to take some time away from the sport following her upcoming UFC 205 bout with Raquel Pennington.Filed u read news >>

Champ Michael Bisping wants next defense at UFC 208, plans to retire when he drops belt

  • 28 days ago
  • 20 views

NEW YORK – With a record-tying 27 UFC fights to his name, UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping has put a time limit on his career – and it’s set around the length of his title reign.Filed under: read news >>

Dana White Shares Thoughts on UFC's New York Debut, Future Plans for UFC in NY

  • 28 days ago
  • 1 views

Despite its prominent place in combat-sports history, New York and its sporting cathedral, Madison Square Garden, have never hosted an MMA event. That changes Saturday with UFC 205, following the leg read news >>

UFC 205 Results: 5 Burning Questions Heading into Fight Nights 99, 100

  • 25 days ago
  • 11 views

UFC 205 is in the books. The results are as follows: UFC Lightweight Championship: Conor McGregor defeats Eddie Alvarez by KO at 3:04 of the second round UFC Welterweight Championship: Tyron Woodley read news >>

UFC Fight Night 99 official weigh-in video and photos from Belfast, Northern Ireland

  • 21 days ago
  • 17 views

BELFAST, Northern Ireland – The official weigh-ins for UFC Fight Night 99 are in the books – with a gut-punch surprise in Northern Ireland. Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, Photo Gallery read news >>

Carrington Banks Plans to 'Put Offense on Jake Roberts' at Bellator 165 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 20 days ago
  • 6 views

Unbeaten lightweight Carrington Banks takes on fellow undefeated fighter Jake Roberts at Bellator 165 at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 100 Results: 5 Burning Questions Heading into Fight Night 101

  • 19 days ago
  • 9 views

UFC Fight Nights 99 and 100 are in the books. The main card results are as follows: Fight Night 99 Results Artem Lobov def. Teruto Ishihara via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) Alexander Volk read news >>

UFC rep: 3 events scheduled for Brazil in 2017

  • 19 days ago
  • 5 views

SAO PAULO – The UFC plans to promote three events in Brazil in 2017, the same number held this year.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>