UFC 144 Results Recap: Takanori Gomi Vs. Eiji Mitsuoka

via Esther Lin of MMAFighting.com

In the fifth fight on the UFC 144 undercard, Takanori Gomi faced Eiji Mitsuoka in a clash between two Japanese lightweights. The fight was the last on FX before the pay per view broadcast went live. In what turned out to be a very competitive fight, Takanori Gomi was able to recompose himself after a lackluster opening round to finish Mitsuoka midway through the second. Takanori Gomi stopped Eiji Mitsuoka at 2:21 in the second round with punches.

Eiji Mitsuoka was the first fighter to attack as the first round opened up. Landing leg kicks, he was able to keep distance away from Gomi's power hand and avoided danger early on. Gomi looked loose but resorted to trying to counter punch Eiji. The fight came close to ending in the first when Mitsuoka got Gomi to the ground and set up an inverted triangle choke. Gomi survived the round but was close to submitting. Round two saw Mitsuoka stand in the pocket with Gomi and trade power punches with the former PRIDE champion. Gomi's power proved to be too much and Eiji shot a desperation takedown. Gomi sprawled out and several punches was all it took for the referee to step in and stop the fight.

What was the high spot of the fight?

The knockout of course. Takanori Gomi showed flashes of brilliance in the first round but it was his ability to put Mitsuoka away that really put a stamp on this fight.

Where do these guys go from here?

Gomi will obviously stick around in the UFC. He still have name recognition with the casuals and there is a pocket of hardcore fans that still believe he can hang with the top fighters in the division. The big question is if he's still motivated to train like an elite fighter. At 2-3 in the UFC, he has an opportunity to turn everything around but he has to dedicate himself to continue developing his skills.

Mitsuoka is a completely different story. He was impressive in the first round of his fight with Gomi but gassed out hard in the second. His lack of striking defense is troubling. If he's given another chance in the UFC, he'll need to show that his performance at UFC 144 was due to jitters and nothing more. I don't see much upside though so it is likely to have been a one and done type deal.

Watch it now, later, or never?

I'm tempted to say later but seeing Gomi knock someone out in Japan makes this a must see fight. UFC 144 was a special event and seeing vintage Gomi was a huge reason the card was so well received.

SBN coverage of UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson

More Bloody Elbow coverage after the jump...

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