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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-05-2012, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Akihiro Gono announces MMA retirement

One of MMA's longest and most colorful careers has come to an end.

Following his loss to Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler at Friday's Bellator 67 event, Akihiro Gono (32-18-7) announced his retirement from the sport.

The Japanese veteran made the announcement in a post-event press conference following the MTV2-televised event.

At Casino Rama in Ontario, Canada, Gono proved no match for recently crowned titleholder Chandler in their headlining non-title fight. Chandler connected with a straight right that floored Gono, and he then unloaded a lightning-quick flurry of punches to prompt the TKO stoppage just 56 seconds into the fight.

An emotional Gono received a standing ovation when he made the retirement announcement afterward.

Gono, 37, made his pro debut way back in 1994. He fought for some of his country's biggest organizations – PRIDE, Shooto, Pancrase and World Victory Road/Sengoku – while mixing in some North American appearances with the UFC and Bellator. Although he never held a major title, he earned a strong following thanks to his crafty fighting style and sometimes-over-the-top ring and cage entrances.

Gono, who's also kickboxed professionally, fought as light as lightweight and as heavy as middleweight while racking up notable wins over the likes of Hector Lombard, Gegard Mousasi and Hayato Sakurai during his 18-year career. He's one of only two men to defeat Lombard and one of just three to defeat Mousasi.

Gono had pieced together a three-fight win streak from 2009-2010, but he wraps his memorable career with a three-fight losing skid.

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-05-2012, 01:44 PM
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It was time. Chandler looked like a beat though.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-05-2012, 02:53 PM
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Its a shame he spent his best years fighting at to high a weight class. Gono could have accomplished so much more but by the time he moved down even to WW his downward slide had already begun.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-05-2012, 05:33 PM
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Holy craps...he actually beat Mousassi and Hector. He has a few other notable wins. I always thought he never really took his fighting seriously...that probably had something to do with his entrance or just his UFC performance in general. I don't think he was able to show his true potential or maybe he was just a flashy fighter who showed some flashed of brilliance.

Well...there goes another fighter beaten into submission. It's too bad most can't leave on a winning note like "Lights Out Lytle." Can't imagine having to go out like that; Iceman, Mirko in the UFC, Randy although that's a nice exit (flying kick to the face.)

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