MENU
#UFC Fight Night 117 #UFC Fight Night 52 #Bellator 183 #Jessica Andrade #Claudia Gadelha #Paul Daley #Ovince St. Preux #Lorenz Larkin #Roy Nelson #Gokhan Saki #Fight Night Pittsburgh #Javy Ayala


(photo by Paul Benjamin)

When Bellator Fighting Championships was looking for an opponent for new lightweight champion Michael Chandler, the list was long.

Soon enough, however, it got whittled down to one because no one was jumping at the chance to face Chandler after his “Fight of the Year” performance over former champ Eddie Alvarez.

The one name that accepted the fight, without hesitation: former UFC and Pride fighter Akihiro Gono.

A mainstay of the Japanese fight scene for more than 15 years, Gono is a veteran fighter who has faced some of the stiffest competition anyone could throw at him and when Michael Chandler’s name was attached to his next bout, there really wasn’t much thought into what to say.

Gono just said yes.

“I have never rejected any fight offer,” Gono told MMAWeekly.com. “Now, I understand why a veteran, perhaps an old man like myself, was chosen to fight Chandler.”

Gono’s manager, Shu Hirata from Suckerpunch Entertainment, said the fight was a no-brainer for the 37-year-old veteran of nearly 50 professional fights. The opportunity was great, and with no risk comes no reward.

“We’ve been looking for an opportunities outside Japan for maybe about a year or so. There were a few possibilities, but none of them were quite right for him at the moment. Then the offer from Bellator actually came in the day before his last fight (vs. Daisuke Nakamura). So I spoke to him the day after that fight and he basically said, ‘I have no injury whatsoever, healthy as ever, so I would like to fight.’ Really, it took less than two minutes to accept the offer to fight Michael Chandler,” Hirata told MMAWeekly.com.

“Gono is one of the smartest individuals I ever met and he has an ability to look at the entire situation in an objective manner. So he knows his place in the business, where he is at in terms of his career. And that means he knows this is more than just an opportunity. It maybe the chance of a lifetime. He can turn everything around with one punch, so to speak. So I am sure he would do whatever it takes to create, perhaps, one of the biggest upsets in the history of MMA on this Friday night.”

Despite his relative youth when it comes to experience level, Chandler has looked like an unstoppable force throughout his career thus far. Already a high level wrestler, Chandler has added heavy hands and a dangerous submission game to his arsenal.

There just aren’t a lot of weaknesses in Chandler’s game. If you know of any, however, Gono will be happy to take your call.

“If there is any weakness of Michael Chandler, then will you please teach me about that?” Gono joked.

Gono is realistic about the situation he’s heading into and he knows that the world is probably picking against him to win. Still, everybody loves a good underdog story and what better way for Gono to re-emerge on the MMA scene than to hand Michael Chandler his first loss.

“An old man, at 37 years old, will cause a huge upset,” said Gono. “I am going to fight hard to create that kind of result.”

Follow @DamonMartin on Twitter or e-mail Damon Martin.
For more
UFC News and UFC Rumors, follow MMAWeekly.com on Twitter and Facebook.

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

Comments

Show Comments

Related News

What Went Wrong for Conor McGregor Against Floyd Mayweather?

  • 28 days ago
  • 24 views

For a little while, it looked like he was going to pull it off. It really looked like Conor McGregor was poised to score an upset victory over Floyd Mayweather Jr. in The Money Fight. For two rounds, read news >>

Beating Johnson not an upset in Borg's mind

  • 18 days ago
  • 2 views

Ray Borg doesn’t need any reminders from the past to let him know what he’s going up against on Saturday, because, to him, beating Demetrious Johnson wouldn’t be an upset. read news >>

Ketlen Vieira Beats Sara McMann at Her Own Game (UFC 215 Fight Highlights) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 15 days ago
  • 19 views

Check out highlights from Ketlen Vieira's upset of Sara McMann at UFC 215 on Saturday in Edmonton. read news >>

Amanda Nunes: I Wanted to Shut This Girl Up | MMAWeekly.com

  • 15 days ago
  • 17 views

(Courtesy of MMAFightingonSBN) Amanda Nunes already had to pull out of her rematch with Valentina Shevchenko once, she wasn't about to do it again for UFC 215. The two were supposed to have fought fo read news >>

After UFC 215 withdrawal, flyweight Ray Borg is not here for your Twitter criticism

  • 14 days ago
  • 47 views

Under fire for having to pull out of UFC 215’s headliner, flyweight challenger Ray Borg took to Twitter to respond.Filed under: Blue Corner, News, UFC read news >>

UFC Fight Night 116's Mike Perry not so subtly accuses Thiago Alves of ducking

  • 10 days ago
  • 19 views

Mike Perry is upset at opportunity lost by Thiago Alves’ withdrawal. But he’ll take it out on short-notice replacement Alex Reyes.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Alex Reyes has upset of Mike Perry on his mind on super short notice at UFC Fight Night 116

  • 9 days ago
  • 8 views

Alex Reyes took his fight with the dangerous Mike Perry on just three days’ notice for the UFC Fight Night 116 co-main event.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Luke Rockhold Urges Georges St-Pierre to Pull Out of UFC 217 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 7 days ago
  • 18 views

Following his second-round finish of David Branch on Saturday, former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold urged Georges St-Pierre to pull out of UFC 217. read news >>

Major Upset Eliminates A Favorite From TUF 26 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 4 days ago
  • 8 views

One of the favorites have been eliminated from The Ultimate Fighter: A New World Champion. No. 3 seed Lauren Murphy was defeated by No. 14 seed Nicco Montano on the fourth episode of the reality seri read news >>

UFC Fight Night 117 staff picks: Is anyone picking Okami to upset Saint Preux in UFC return?

  • 3 days ago
  • 23 views

Check out our staff picks for UFC Fight Night 117 in Japan, which features the UFC return of Yushin Okami vs. Ovince Saint Preux.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>