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UFC 135 preview: Nate Diaz looks to stop losing skid against Takanori Gomi

The UFC 135 card will feature a lightweight matchup between TUF alum Nate Diaz and former PRIDE standout Takanori Gomi. These two fighters have a little history in that Nate’s brother Nick defeated Gomi back in 2007 in what was a major upset at the time. However, that fight was later declared a ‘no contest’ because Nick Diaz tested positive for marijuana after the bout. Both fighters are coming off losses with Diaz losing his last two while he was fighting as a welterweight. He’ll be looking to see if he can find success again as a lightweight. Let’s see how this one shakes out.

Takanori Gomi comes into this bout with a career record of (32-7, 1 NC) with 12 wins via TKO/KO and 6 wins via submission. Gomi was last seen losing via submission to Clay Guida back at UFC 125 earlier this year. Gomi hasn’t found much success since his arrival in the UFC. He has pretty much become a shell of his former self in that he basically throws haymakers hoping they connect like that one that put Tyson Griffin away. Although one dimensional nowadays, he does still pack a great deal of power in his hands.

Nate Diaz comes into this bout with a career record of (13-7) with 3 wins via TKO/KO and 8 wins via submission. He was last seen in action back at UFC 129 getting tossed around like a little kid against Rory MacDonald which has prompted him to move back to the lightweight division. Diaz is a solid fighter with his only weakness being poor takedown defense and just lack of strength. He does have solid boxing skills, granite chin, and is very dangerous on the ground.

Bet on Fighting has Nate Diaz as the betting favorite at (-260) and Gomi as the underdog at (+210).

I pretty much agree with those odds. I think Gomi could win the fight if he were to use the wrestling ability that he used to possess, but he seemed to abandoned that some time ago. Then again he’d have to avoid being submitted by Diaz who is very active with his guard. In fact, Gomi has been submitted in 5 of his 7 career losses. Not good. I mentioned that Diaz has a granite chin, and Gomi could very well hurt him with punches but would also have to deal with Diaz’s huge reach advantage in this bout.

I think Diaz will simply be able to use his length to outstrike Gomi if he wanted to, and I also believe his length would pose problems for Gomi on the ground as well.  Ultimately, I think Diaz will frustrate Gomi with his standup forcing Gomi to shoot for a takedown of sorts or he may just get outstruck all night and lose a decision. If he does take Diaz down, I do think Diaz will be able to submit him as Gomi has shown that he is prone to chokes in the past.

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