Guida is ranked #19 and Gomi is #14 at lightweight in the USAT/SBN Consensus MMA Rankings.
Gomi, the Fireball Kid who reigned over Pride's lightweight division for the final two years of its existence, reignited his struggling career when he knocked out perennial contender Tyson Griffin at UFC on Versus 2. That win brought Gomi to 1-1 in the UFC following his debut submission loss to Kenny Florian in March.
Prior to coming to the UFC, Gomi had wandered in the wilderness for two years after the collapse of Pride going 4-2 and dropping like a rock in the rankings. Along with Hidehiko Yoshida, he was World Victory Road's biggest signing when they launched their Sengoku promotion. They held a tournament to provide Gomi a challenger for their lightweight belt but he dropped a very controversial decision to Sergey Golyaev in what was supposed to be his tune up fight. Shortly thereafter he was submitted by Satoru Kitaoka in a title fight.
Guida picked up two UFC wins in 2010 which helped him turn things around after going 1-2 in 2009. Guida forced both Rafael dos Anjos and Shannon Gugerty to submit but Gomi will represent a serious jump in competition for Guida. He's come up short in the past against the division's elite with losses to title challengers Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez as well as contenders like Tyson Griffin, Roger Huerta, and Din Thomas.
Bloody Elbow's Leland Roling breaks down the Gomi vs Guida match up:
Gomi has the perfect style to devastate Guida in this match-up. Most fans will probably scoff at this idealogy, but Gomi has the style to destroy "wrestleboxers" in spectacular fashion. His wrestling can be very good when he's focused on a particular opponent, and his powerful hooks counter quickly and definitively. There are a lot of scenarios I can run through in my head of how this fight will go down, but many of them end with Gomi blasting Guida's chin as he rushes in or as Gomi escapes the clinch. Best case scenario for Guida is to smother Gomi in pace and tenacity, and that's not a far-fetched path to success. It makes this a very tough fight to call.