Takanori Gomi has already begun to get in on the boxing fun over in Japan with his last two outings. Now, he hopes to go join the action internationally.
The 43-year old “Fireball Kid” is synonymous with fighting in Japan. While MMA may not necessarily be in the foreseeable future, he likes the idea of continuing to throw hands.
“This will depend on COVID, but I would definitely like to face international competition,” Gomi told My MMA News on BROADENED HORIZIN. “Legendary fighters, YouTubers, I’ll take everything seriously. [Floyd] Mayweather, [Oscar] De La Hoya, if those fights could get confirmed, I will train hard and I will be prepared. I’m willing to fight internationally so those are the fights I would like to do.”
Gomi (36-15, 1 no-contest) hasn’t fought in MMA since his six-fight skid-snapping knockout of Melvin Guillard at RIZIN 11 in 2018. Since then, the former PRIDE FC lightweight king has had two boxing matches as well as a grappling appearance opposite Sean O’Malley in late 2019.
RIZIN 33 this past New Year’s Eve saw Gomi take on the superstar prodigy kickboxer in Tenshin Nasukawa. The bout is expected to be Tenshin’s last in the RIZIN ring. The end result saw the judges score the bout a draw after two rounds.
“Obviously, there was a weight difference,” Gomi said. “Tenshin’s bread and butter are his kicks and he wasn’t able to use his kicks. But what I felt was that he hasn’t fully adjusted to boxing yet – at all. I’ve noticed this myself, I’ve been boxing for a long time and I’ve been an MMA fighter for a long time, but once you get into the ring, me myself, I have the MMA striking stance, too – although I’ve been boxing longer.
“Facing Tenshin, I felt a young aggressive fighter who’s trying to come towards me. I felt like he was going to throw a knee or he was going to shoot in for a takedown, so he hasn’t fully adjusted to boxing and I think he knows that and he’s in the process. Obviously, he has two more kickboxing fights left but he’s still in the process. So I felt like I was fighting a fighter and not a boxer.”
Tenshin is planning to make his debut in boxing at some point in 2022. But first, he’ll have to participate in the long-awaited super-fight against Takeru Segawa during the summer.
Gomi too would like some big fights with high stakes, but he understands where he’s currently at in his career. He’s been there and done that, after all. Now it’s just about going out there and enjoying the ride the rest of the way.
“That’s a difficult question. I mean, do I have the desire to compete in MMA? Yes, I do,” he said. “Do I want to face [RIZIN lightweight champion Roberto] “Satoshi” [de Souza]? Yes, I do. But I don’t think it’s quite realistic. I still do have the desire.
“All the MMA knowledge that I have is going to be passed down to my students and they’ll take it from here. But for me, you see even in the U.S., a lot of boxing legends fighting exhibitions and they’re making comebacks and it’s becoming a thing. For me, I think competing in those types of bouts and matches is more fun for me.”
Drake is an MMA writer based out of Brush Prairie, Washington, USA who specializes in feature pieces, the women’s fight scene, lists, news coverage, and rankings. He has been a passionate fan of MMA ever since 2009. Drake has most notably written for BJPenn.com, FanSided, The Body Lock, South China Morning Post, MyMMANews, WhatCulture, Cageside Press, Sherdog, The Scrap, and MMA Today. He has also written for and created video content for RT Sport. As for other sports, Drake is a longtime fan of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers and Jacksonville Jaguars.
You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @DrakeRiggs_ . Also check out all of his video content on YouTube at YouTube.com/DrakeRiggs where he uploads fighter interviews, podshows, and various other types of content.