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Welcome to the UFC, Joey Gomez

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A new young fighter is on his way to the UFC with an impressive record of first round finishes.

Time to meet the last new UFC fighter of 2015. It's New Year's Eve, December 31st and the UFC has just picked up a new bantamweight talent for their upcoming UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw vs. Cruz card in Boston, Massachusetts. NESN.com announced the signing of Joey Gomez, who is set to face local talent Rob Font on January 17th. Font had been set to take on Patrick Williams, but Williams was apparently forced out of the bout due to injury. So...

Who is Joey Gomez?

The 29-year old "KO King"  will be entering the UFC working out of Team Link Hooksett BJJ, headed by Edward Carr and training ground of UFC vet Gabriel Gonzaga. He's also spent some time training out of Triumph BJJ, and while neither are entirely notable camps, they've created a few solid regional fighters on the northeast fight scene. Gomez has blazed out of the gate in his pro-MMA career and will enter the UFC with a 6-0 pro record, with all wins coming by first round KO. His competition isn't amazing, but it's not bad, with a couple .500 regional vets and his most recent win over solid rising talent and current Bellator fighter Kin Moy. In part, Gomez's strong start to his MMA career may be due to a long (and somewhat unrecorded) amateur record, going 10-3 out of Team Quest in Cali before turning pro, as well as his background in the Marines. He apparently suffered a severe broken leg that hindered his pro debut as well, but he's been firing on all cylinders since leaving the amateur ranks in 2013.

What you should expect:

Watching Gomez fight it's clear to see that his game is all about his boxing. He's got good, fast hands, throws a nice variety of punches, and is good at keeping his elbows in, chin down, and punches straight. To help his status as a rock solid puncher, Gomez has some real natural gifts going for him. He's a pretty averaged sized bantamweight, standing about 5' 8", but it looks like he's got a pretty exceptionally long reach for his size and does a great job getting snap on the end of his punches. His jab-uppercut combo is particularly nice and powerful.

Because he's so focused on his boxing and keeps a pretty wide stance, Gomez seems to be a reasonably decent counter wrestler. He's good at stuffing the single leg, which he invites opponents to try for, and frankly he hasn't gone deep enough in any of his fights to know what his chain wrestling or grappling looks like. It will be interesting to see what the rest of his game looks like when he's pressed in the UFC, and how many more tools he can draw on outside his solid punching skills.

What this means for his debut:

Short notice is never great, but two and a half weeks is just at the outside edge of what I'd really consider short notice, and he was already in prep for a bout against Kody Nordby on January 8th. So Gomez has been in camp and he should have enough time to adapt his game a bit to his new opponent. Rob Font has shown himself to be a more diverse striker to date in MMA. Font has a decent kicking game to supplement his boxing and will even jump on a submission if he thinks he has an opponent hurt. Both men have power, and neither is terrible defensively (despite Font's tendency to cross his feet as he circles). I'd say that Gomez is the bigger puncher, though they're otherwise pretty similar in build and Font has his share of fast finishes. This looks like it has the makings of a coin flip striking battle in which the first guy to start landing clean power strikes gets the early KO.

To get us better acquainted, here's Gomez's 2014 fight against Robbie Leroux