There are few fighters that can claim as complete dominance over a division as Gomi can currently claim.
OntheMat.com is pleased to announce our choice of MMA Fighter of the Year 2005 goes to Takanori Gomi.
Quite frankly there were many standouts in this category and the decision to award the MMA Fighter of the year was not an easy one by any stretch of the imagination. However the deciding factors to award Gomi the MMA fighter of the year was based on the following:
1) Gomi went undefeated in 2005, racking up a record of 5-0 against quality competition (all opponents in 2005 had winning records).
2) If you count his knockout of Jens Pulver on New Year’s Eve, December 31st, 2004 towards his 2005 record, his he goes up to 6-0.
3) With his knockout victory over former dojo mate Hayato Sakurai (strong candidate for fight of the year), he literally bookended 2005 with KO’s, which somehow seems fitting for the one the call “the Fireball Kid”.
4) The victory over Sakurai also made him the winner of the Pride Bushido Lightweight tournament and arguably the best fighter under 160 competing today. There are few fighters that can claim as complete dominance over a division as Gomi can currently claim.
5) Furthermore, by naming Gomi the fighter of the year, we hope to send a message to all fans and promoters that the lightweight division and smaller fighters are among the most exciting of all.
Going back through Gomi’s career, he has not had a loss since 2003 in his match against BJ Penn at Rumble on the Rock. Since that point he has emerged as a reborn fighter, shown vast improvements and taken on challenge after challenge. The only question for Gomi is where to go now that he is on top? A rematch against Penn seems distant, both are currently entrenched in rival organizations. Penn has also looking to move up in weight; Gomi has hinted he may do the same and try for the next logical step, which would be Dan Henderson’s middleweight title. There are also a number of intriguing possibilities for matchups if Gomi decides to enter Prides rumored open weight tournament.
Congratulations to Takanori Gomi, the OTM MMA Fighter of the Year for 2005!
In the next few days we will reveal the OntheMat Jiu Jitsu Player of the year (Gi) and have a 2005 year end wrap up and summary with the most mentionable happenings. Stay tuned…