A legend of Pride and the Japanese fight scene will return at UFC Japan in September when Takanori Gomi squares off with South Korea’s ‘Maestro’ Dong Hyun Kim. Gazeta Esportiva’s Bruno Massami was first to report the match-up via social media. UFC officials would later confirm the pairing, with the promotion’s official Japanese twitter account linking to a story from Nikkan Sports.
Gomi (35-13) achieved legendary status in Pride, where he won the promotion’s lightweight Grand Prix in 2005, and would go on to defend the lightweight title. “The Fireball Kid,” also a Shooto lightweight champion, has struggled in recent years, however, with his UFC run never matching the heights of his accomplishments in Japan. Just 4-8 in the UFC, he’s currently on a four fight losing streak to Myles Jury, Joe Lauzon, Jim Miller, and Jon Tuck. In all four fights, the former Pride champ was finished, with three by KO/TKO.
South Korea’s Kim (14-8), meanwhile, enters UFC Japan — otherwise known as UFC Fight Night 117 — just 1-2 in the UFC, but he is coming off a win at the Ultimate Fighter 24 finale against Brendan O’Reilly.
UFC Fight Night 117 takes place September 22 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan outside of Tokyo. The card will air on FXX with the prelims going down on UFC Fight Pass.