Takanori Gomi will battle in his native land at February's UFC 144. (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)
As expected, Takanori Gomi will compete at Japan's UFC 144 and he now has an opponent as the organization announced late Sunday night that George Sotiropoulos will battle the former PRIDE champion on Saturday, February 26th in Saitama.
The 33-year-old Gomi (32-8-0-1) made his UFC debut in March 2010 and was submitted by Kenny Florian in the third round. After knocking out Tyson Griffin in 64 seconds later that year, Gomi lost consecutive fights by submission to Clay Guida and Nate Diaz. Gomi is a former PRIDE Lightweight champion and Shooto Welterweight Champion.
A UFC fighter since December 2007, Sotiropoulos (14-4) came within striking distance of a lightweight title shot with an eight-fight winning streak. However, a unanimous decision loss to Dennis Siver in February and a 59-second knockout loss to Rafael dos Anjos in July put the 34-year-old back in the middle of the pack.
UFC 144 (aka UFC Japan) is headlined by Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar vs. Ben Henderson, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Ryan Bader, Mark Hunt vs. Cheick Kongo, Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Jake Shields and Joe Lauzon vs. Anthony Pettis.