Takanori Gomi May Face Joe StevensonA lightweight bout between final PRIDE Lightweight Champion Takanori “Fireball Kid” Gomi and former UFC title challenger Joe “Daddy” Stevenson is reportedly in the works for UFC On Versus 2 in August. Heavy.com first reported on the fight today, which remains in the early stages of planning.

The UFC’s return to the Versus network is tentatively set for August 1st at the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. If signed, the pivotal matchup would be featured on the televised main card as both Stevenson and Gomi look to rebound from disappointing UFC losses.

Gomi (31-6-0, 1 NC), the former long-time titleholder in Pride Fighting Championships, encountered a rocky road in Sengoku before travelling to the United States for his UFC debut against Kenny “KenFlo” Florian on March 31st. The Japanese striker was dominated en route to a third-round submission loss that ended hopes of a rematch between Gomi and then-UFC Lightweight Champion BJ Penn. With the setback, Gomi will be forced to climb back up the division’s ranks and a bout with Stevenson would not be an easy one. A one-sided loss could potentially spell the end of Gomi’s tenure in the UFC.

Stevenson (31-11-0) won five of his first six appearances inside the Octagon and earned a shot at Penn for the UFC Lightweight Championship in early 2008. The California native suffered a lopsided loss and dropped two of his next three bouts to former title challengers Florian and Diego “Nightmare” Sanchez. Stevenson began training with famed coach Greg Jackson and scored wins over Nate Diaz and Spencer “The King” Fisher, but was upset by George Sotiropoulos at UFC 110. Now out of the title picture for the first time in over two years, Stevenson will need to get past Gomi in order to get back in contention.

UFC On Versus 2 is planned for August 1st at the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. The event will air live on Versus and could lead to additional UFC events on the network in the coming year.


(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)