Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Monday, June 20, 2011 | 10:05 p.m.
A matchup titled Gomi vs. Diaz invokes fond memories of a brawl from mixed martial arts fans.
In early 2007, Nick Diaz defeated then-PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi via second round submission at the Thomas & Mack Center. Four-and-a-half years later, Gomi will face another Diaz.
UFC officials announced Monday night that Gomi would meet Nate Diaz, Nick’s younger brother, in a lightweight scrap at UFC 135 on Sept. 24 in Denver.
“Gomi had an amazing battle with Nick Diaz in PRIDE and is looking for some revenge against his brother,” UFC President Dana White said in a statement.
Although the Nevada Athletic Commission overturned Nick Diaz’s victory over Gomi to a no contest after he tested positive for marijuana in a post-fight drug screening, it did little to make everyone forget about the meeting.
Gomi is still regularly asked about Diaz, including in the lead-up to his last fight against Clay Guida at UFC 125. In the pre-fight press conference at the MGM Grand, a reporter questioned if Gomi would be open to a bout against Nate.
“I’ll think about it after this fight,” Gomi said through a translator.
Turns out Gomi (32-7 MMA, 1-2 UFC) did more than think about it. Nate Diaz (13-7 MMA, 8-5 UFC) will be his first opponent since the outing, in which Guida submitted him via guillotine choke in the second round.
A matchup between two fighters who have gone 1-3 combined in their last four bouts is not usually an anticipated event. But Gomi vs. Diaz is different because of their styles.
Gomi is a strong striker who rose to fame with highlight knockouts in PRIDE. Diaz never shies away from mixing it up and constantly trash talks his opponents, even while in the octagon.
Diaz is dropping back down to 155 pounds for the fight after spending the last year-and-a-half in the 170-pound division, where he went 2-2.
Other bouts announced for UFC 135 include a headlining light heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Rampage Jackson and a welterweight tilt with “The Ultimate Fighter” season one champion Diego Sanchez and Hall of Famer Matt Hughes.