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Fight Archives: Takanori Gomi rudely ends Ralph Gracie’s MMA run

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Looking back on the knee strike that kept Ralph Gracie away from an MMA ring for good.

Takanori Gomi holds record of the fastest knockout in PRIDE history.
Takanori Gomi holds record of the fastest knockout in PRIDE history.

When we talk about the ultimate bane of the Gracie clan’s existence, fingers automatically point to the inimitable Kazushi Sakuraba. But we all seem to forget about the one and only “Fireball Kid” Takanori Gomi, and that time he ended Ralph Gracie’s short-lived MMA run.

It happened at PRIDE Bushido 3 in 2004 in Yokohama. There was a bit of a storyline leading up to the bout as it was seven months after Gomi lost to Ralph’s student B.J. Penn.

The referee signals the start of the action and Ralph refuses to touch gloves. He shoots in with zero setups, eats a hard knee from Gomi, and drops to the canvas. Ralph absorbed four more knee strikes to the side of the head before the ref stepped in to say it’s over. The action lasted for six seconds.

It was the last time Ralph ever stepped inside an MMA ring and it marked the lone loss on his record of 6-1. As for Gomi, this fight made him the record holder of the fastest knockout in PRIDE history.