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All Around Nice Guy
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Dave Walsh makes the case for Gomi:

The main story we've been hearing for the bulk of 2010 in relation to anything in Japan is how Japan is dead. Well, it might not be dead yet, but it will be dead, and all of the main stars who fought in Japan and are stars in Japan, well, they aren't as good as their American counterparts and probably can't hang against the elite of the UFC. With one crushing right hook at UFC on Versus 2, Takanori Gomi declared war on this school of thought and showed he isn't ready to be considered "done" yet.

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Many feared for what would happen to Gomi going into tonight's fight, and just about everybody was proven wrong when Gomi's right hand connected flush on the jaw and Griffin hit the canvas. Gomi pounced but it wasn't even necessary, as Griffin was out of it and Gomi had just shocked the world. This win for Gomi serves as a beacon of hope and validation that not everything related to Japan is dead and maybe, just maybe the naysayers will have to take a step back and re-evaluate what we all think about Japanese MMA.

Ken Pishna at MMA Weekly talks up Okami:

There were no surprises out of Munoz, a national champion in collegiate wrestling at Oklahoma State University, when he worked for the takedown from the opening bell and throughout the fight. He was intent on putting Okami on his back to pound him out.

The problem being that Okami didn't get the memo.

He blocked all but one of Munoz's takedown attempts and used his striking to pick away at him over the 15-minute duration. Okami rocked Munoz on a couple of occasions, but never came close to finishing.

He did, however, stuff Munoz's game, and proved that he is one of the most durable fighters in the UFC middleweight division.

Now 9-2 in the Octagon, his only losses to former middleweight champion Rich Franklin and possibly incoming champion Chael Sonnen, Okami has set himself up to make good on White's words of a title shot.

Griffin and Munoz are exactly the sort of wrestling-based, weight-cutting American fighters that are supposedly driving Japanese MMA to extinction.

But Gomi showed that his winging haymakers remain kryptonite for wrestle-boxers like Griffin. Griffin has worked hard to develop a solid stand up game and he actually landed some hard shots on Gomi. But none of them were kill shots and Gomi paid them no heed. When Gomi hit back though, Griffin face planted like Ric Flair selling a work. Over and out.
More in the link.

Yeah but what about when these 2 get older?? It doesnt seem like Japan is creating many more MMA Stars unless they move to America and train here full time. In which then im not sure they can be considered Japanese MMA.
 

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More in the link.

Yeah but what about when these 2 get older?? It doesnt seem like Japan is creating many more MMA Stars unless they move to America and train here full time. In which then im not sure they can be considered Japanese MMA.
I'd like to see Chinese MMA fighters develop from youth - they do produce phenomenal individual sport athletes (Olympics). A company I invest in has made windfall profit on China's online UFC content. They are freaking CHINA, with a looooooonnng history of love for movies involving fighting. A bit enigmatic why their fighters are irrelevant and suck at MMA.
 

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Just a wonderful night for Japanese MMA! It was about time right?

But Okami and Gomi aren't the only ones right now. Akiyama can still make it through. I consider him a top 5 MW when his cardio if at 100%. He is just a great well rounded fighter. Just like Okami just a little undersized for his devision.

And we have Kim just coming up!

There are also huge prospects like Katsunori Kikuno in Dream :thumbsup:
 

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Japanese MMA is not dead, but they were able to fight for a living in their own back yard for so long they got used to it. People like Okami made the move early and got used to how American's and Brazilians fight. Japanese MMA is alive and well and will adapt, it is just working on establishing it presence in the US. Once the Pride veterans finally give up trying to earn a living in Dream,etc, or once they retire and open their gyms you will see this next generation of Japanese MMA stars start coming over to the US a lot earlier.
 

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This might sound negative, but the only Japanese fighter I could see having any true impact on the UFC's five divisions is Okami. That includes all fighters inside and outside of the UFC if they were to join the UFC. Okami's the only japanese fighter worldwide that I would rank in the top ten of all divisions above and including lightweight.

I see many more openings for Japanese fighters to do very well in promotions like the WEC with lighter weight classes.
Some notable fighters that I can see making an impression if they were to come across the pond to the WEC:
Masanori Kenehara (FW division)
Hatsu Hioki (FW division)
Masakazu Imanari (BW division)
Masakatsu Ueda (BW division)
 

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This might sound negative, but the only Japanese fighter I could see having any true impact on the UFC's five divisions is Okami. That includes all fighters inside and outside of the UFC if they were to join the UFC. Okami's the only japanese fighter worldwide that I would rank in the top ten of all divisions above and including lightweight.

I see many more openings for Japanese fighters to do very well in promotions like the WEC with lighter weight classes.
Some notable fighters that I can see making an impression if they were to come across the pond to the WEC:
Masanori Kenehara (FW division)
Hatsu Hioki (FW division)
Masakazu Imanari (BW division)
Masakatsu Ueda (BW division)

Omigawa is better than both...
Kawajiri would do fine as well as Aoki.
Kikuno would do fine, and is pretty much only getting better.
 

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This might sound negative, but the only Japanese fighter I could see having any true impact on the UFC's five divisions is Okami. That includes all fighters inside and outside of the UFC if they were to join the UFC. Okami's the only japanese fighter worldwide that I would rank in the top ten of all divisions above and including lightweight.
You don't rank Aoki in the top 10? :confused:

How is that possible?
 

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Omigawa is better than both...
Kawajiri would do fine as well as Aoki.
Kikuno would do fine, and is pretty much only getting better.
You don't rank Aoki in the top 10? :confused:

How is that possible?
I don't know much aout Kikuno, but I'm very skeptical that Aoki or Kawajiri are in the top 10 Lightweights in the world. Aoki is ridiculous, for sure, but I don't see his fighting style holding up against many of the UFC's LW's. When Melendez dominated him it really exposed perhaps one of the largest flaws I've seen a "top" fighter have: the inability (or unwillingness) of Aoki to engage in a stand up battle or to take his opponent down and play into Aoki's strengths. If they were to ever come to the UFC then we would surely find out soon, but I see the likes of Penn, Florian, Edgar, Sotir, Maynard, Dunham, Griffin, and even Sanchez (if he goes back to LW) with the odds in their favor over the likes of Aoki and Kawajiri.
No doubt in my mind Aoki could sub any of these guys if the position is right, the problem is I don't see him getting there against the aforementioned fighters.
 

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You don't rank Aoki in the top 10? :confused:

How is that possible?
Omigawa is better than both...
Kawajiri would do fine as well as Aoki.
Kikuno would do fine, and is pretty much only getting better.
I don't think Aoki would fair very well in the UFC. He has no standup and can't take people down. I think there about 5 or 6 LWs that could do the same thing Melendez did to him. Kawajiri could do alright if he would game plan a little better. Honestly taking aoki down is a terrible idea.
 

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I don't know much aout Kikuno, but I'm very skeptical that Aoki or Kawajiri are in the top 10 Lightweights in the world. Aoki is ridiculous, for sure, but I don't see his fighting style holding up against many of the UFC's LW's. When Melendez dominated him it really exposed perhaps one of the largest flaws I've seen a "top" fighter have: the inability (or unwillingness) of Aoki to engage in a stand up battle or to take his opponent down and play into Aoki's strengths. If they were to ever come to the UFC then we would surely find out soon, but I see the likes of Penn, Florian, Edgar, Sotir, Maynard, Dunham, Griffin, and even Sanchez (if he goes back to LW) with the odds in their favor over the likes of Aoki and Kawajiri.
No doubt in my mind Aoki could sub any of these guys if the position is right, the problem is I don't see him getting there against the aforementioned fighters.
Yeah I agree
 

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I don't think Aoki would fair very well in the UFC. He has no standup and can't take people down. I think there about 5 or 6 LWs that could do the same thing Melendez did to him. Kawajiri could do alright if he would game plan a little better. Honestly taking aoki down is a terrible idea.
Who knows? Everybody thought Tatsuya Kawajiri would do the exact same thing as Melendez but failed badly. Doesn't really matter if Kawajiri used a wrong tactic.. he lost fair and square.

Kawajiri was a good opponent and Aoki deserves to be in the top 10 in my mind.
 

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Who knows? Everybody thought Tatsuya Kawajiri would do the exact same thing as Melendez but failed badly. Doesn't really matter if Kawajiri used a wrong tactic.. he lost fair and square.

Kawajiri was a good opponent and Aoki deserves to be in the top 10 in my mind.

Yes he does. Kawajiri is the best LW out of Japan outside of Shinya IMO.
 

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Who knows? Everybody thought Tatsuya Kawajiri would do the exact same thing as Melendez but failed badly. Doesn't really matter if Kawajiri used a wrong tactic.. he lost fair and square.

Kawajiri was a good opponent and Aoki deserves to be in the top 10 in my mind.
But Kawajiri didn't try to do what Melendez did. That's the point. He took Aoki down, which was dumb. The other guys wouldn't be so stupid. IMO a guy like Florian KO's Aoki.
 
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