It seems The Fireball Kid will be fighting another Diaz as the UFC has annoucned that Takanori Gomi (32-7) will be facing BJJ ace Nate Diaz (13-7) in a lightweight showdown.
Gomi's current streak with the UFC has resulted in a subpar 1-2 performence although his losses came to top contenders Kenny Florian and Clay Guida with a knockout victory over Tyson Griffin sandwiched in between. The popular Japanese MMA star was once one everybody's top ten list with victories over Mach Sakurai, Nate Diaz's former TUF coach Jens Pulver (back when it still meant something) and split a pair of fights with veteran Marcus Aureilo. The former Pride Lightweight Grand Prix winner and two time Shooto Welterweight Champion has the fastest knockout in Pride FC history with a stunning six second TKO of Ralph Gracie who never competed in mixed martial arts again after the defeat. Gomi is perhaps most known for his great battle, and subsequent win over, Tatsuya Kawajiri and tough submission loss to Nick Diaz which was changed to a no contest due to Diaz's positive test for the ganja. The Fireball Kid always has the punchers chance and will look to test the jaw of his former foe's little bro.
Nate Diaz has had mixed results since entering the octagon. Winner of The Ultimate Fighter Season 5 Diaz has gone 8-5 since capturing the TUF title and has beaten the likes of Kurt Pellogrino, Josh Neer, Melvin Guillard, Manny Gamburyan, and Marcus Davis since his time in worlds premier MMA promotion. After back to back defeats in the 170 division this fight will mark Nate's return to 155, a smart move considering the Welterweight's plethora of stronger wrestlers. Just like his older brother, Nick, the other cocky trash talking Diaz sibling has also consistantly struggled when faced against a strong wrestler, four of his five losses coming against them in his stint in the octagon.
This poses an interesting query in his future matchup with Gomi: Will Diaz want this one on the ground or to keep it standing? This might seem like a silly question on the surface, especially if you consider the power in The Fireball Kid's hands, but in his last showing Gomi was utterly bewildered by Guida's head movement and landed only a few shots. Factor in Diaz's recently dismantling of boxer Marcus Davis with the patented 209 pitter patter slap shots, Gomi's decent wrestling, and the fact that Nate's jiu jitsu is still leaps and bounds behind his brothers and we might just see Diaz wanting this one to be a stand and bang affair and Gomi looking to take it to the ground. Regardless of strategy both fighters always bring it and this should be quite the entertaining fight. Only question now is how is Takanori going to understand all the smack Nate is talking about his mother?