Kawajiri on Gomi: ‘He’s My Arch Rival’


Four years ago, Tatsuya Kawajiri succumbed to a rear-naked choke from Takanori Gomi at Pride “Bushido 9” at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo. Now 31, the former Shooto champion has not forgotten the sting of defeat that night in September 2005, and if fate sees fit, he wants another crack at the one-time Pride Fighting Championships lightweight king.

Gomi (30-5, 1 NC) knocked out Takashi Nakakura at a Shooto event in May, as he snapped a two-fight losing streak. It seems his demise may have been greatly overexaggerated.

“He was very strong. There is no point in comparing his past and present since it may mean that he improved,” Kawajiri said. “Ultimately, if I have the chance and if that’s what the fans wish to see, I’d like to fight him again. He’s my arch rival.”

Kawajiri expected Gomi to rebound from losses to Sergey Golyaev and Satoru Kitaoka inside the Sengoku promotion.

“He was different from the Gomi that I fought,” he said. “I knew he was better.”

Kawajiri (24-5-2) also has designs on a rematch with Caol Uno, whom he battled to a draw at a Shooto event in March 2004. Uno, however, returned to the UFC earlier this month and lost a unanimous decision to Spencer Fisher in Germany.

“I’m not so concerned about the rematch not taking place,” Kawajiri said. “I hope he does well in the UFC. It takes a lot of courage to fight in the UFC today. If we keep on fighting, we might as well meet again in the ring. Only time will tell.”

In the meantime, as he prepares for a K-1 rules match with Masato Kobayashi on July 13 in Tokyo, Kawajiri plans to monitor the Dream featherweight grand prix and teammate Hiroyuki Takaya.

“I would like to see him win since I train with him,” Kawajiri said. “I also believe he has all the tools to win the tournament.”

He sees Hideo Tokoro -- a submission winner against Abel Cullum at Dream 9 -- as the darkhorse.

“The one fighter who you have to keep an eye on is Hideo Tokoro. He seems to have something outside of his abilities. To keep winning in a tournament like this, you need to bring in luck and catch the flow of the tournament for things to go your way. Coming up with a submission win the way he did after three straight defeats -- that’s amazing. He isn’t your ordinary fighter.”

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

Related News

  • 28 days ago
  • 0 views

Josh Burkman last competed in the UFC a little more than six years ago at UFC 90, where he dropped a unanimous decision to Pete “Drago” Sell. read news >>

  • 12 days ago
  • 3 views

Four years ago, Joe Doerksen found his head smushed against the UFC’s octagon, scrambling desperately to escape a chokehold his opponent, C.B. Dollaway, refused to let go. Filed under: MMAjunkie Radi read news >>

  • 9 days ago
  • 1 views

Four years ago, Brian Foster had brain surgery. At least that's what his Wikipedia page says. Four years ago, Brian Foster had a brain hemorrhage. At least that's what most people think. Foster was m read news >>

  • 2 days ago
  • 25 views

STOCKHOLM – Andy Ogle believes he’s fighting for his UFC career at on Saturday at UFC on FOX 14. Then again, he thought the same prior to his previous fight. And also the one before that.Filed under: read news >>

  • 22 hours ago
  • 11 views

Just three short years ago, Anthony "Rumble" Johnson was dismissed as a head case. He seemed likely to go down as a fighter who boasted all the physical tools, but one who was never going to quite ge read news >>

  • 26 days ago
  • 8 views

Four-time UFC veteran Isaac Vallie-Flagg today announced he’s no longer employed by the sport’s largest promotion.Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC read news >>

  • 26 days ago
  • 3 views

The year’s final edition of the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA rankings are complete, but it won’t take long for there to be some real potential for change in 2015.Filed under: Bellator, MMA Rankings read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

The off-ramp just south of Exit 317 looks much like any other. Towering columns of cement and mortar bend and twist, forming bridge and road, median and walkway, all adjacent to the bastion of airpor read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 2 views

Three months ago, Jon Jones told the Nevada State Athletic Commission he had lost an endorsement deal with Nike as the result of an infamous brawl with Daniel Cormier.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>