BJ Penn Taking On Takanori Gomi in 2003 Rumble on the Rock 4
BJ Penn facing off against Japanese superstar Takanori Gomi in Hawaii, back in 2003. As Penn was having a contractual dispute with the UFC. The Hawaiian took the opportunity to fight outside the promotion against the well known Gomi at Rumble on the Rock 4.
And Takanori had twice as many fights as Penn at this point in his career. But I think its fair to say that BJ had already established himself as a rising star in the sport. So a fight between the pair was a tantalising prospect for any MMA fan at the time. With Penn’s world-class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Gomi’s Shooto wrestling background. The ground fighting was always going to be an intriguing element to the bout.
BJ Penn vs Takanori Gomi Round One
And as the bell sounds to start the fight, BJ Penn immediately shoots in to take Gomi to the ground. Perhaps looking to test his ground skills against those of Takanori, as opposed to standing and trading with the renowned striker. And it may well have been the right decision as Penn is able to take his back and reign down punches from the top.
With BJ being half-octopus, he manages to wrap up his opponent in a tight body lock. As Gomi struggles to find a way out of his predicament. With Penn punching him in the face and seemingly unable to shift the Hawaiian, it’s a tough spot in which he finds himself. But he manages to shake him off and in the process gain top position.
And from the top, he tries to land some hard shots, which are mostly defended by Penn. As the pair grapple for their positions, BJ is eventually able to make enough space to get up. Where he once again shoots on Gomi and takes him back down. But as the round draws to a close the American is unable to pull off any submission, as the bell finally sounds.
BJ Penn opens the second round by landing a lovely knee to the body. Then the pair begin to trade leather on the feet, with BJ landing a nice right hand, this fight is beginning to light up! And Gomi is definitely coming out more aggressive, landing some nice punches. Penn eventually shoots in again and takes the fight to the ground.
However, it’s the man from Japan who ends up on top. Bleeding on to BJ Penn, Gomi is doing his best to inflict some damage from the top. But the referee brings a pause to the action and asks for Gomi’s mouthpiece to be cleaned. Before they are at it again, with BJ holding and hitting in the face. It’s turning into a slobber knocker of a fight.
They are now switching between punching and grappling. As both are beginning to look tired, some of the punches now look very laboured. And it’s a jabfest! With both men landing their jab, but neither follows up with another punch combination.
It’s the third and final round of the fight and BJ Penn lands as nice left-right, before securing yet another takedown. Takanori Gomi manages to catch BJ in a guillotine, but it doesn’t last for long as the American once again gains top position. Sinking in a body triangle, Penn tries to arm drag Gomi to the ground, but he’s fighting hard.
But this is BJ Penn’s bread and butter. He keeps peppering his opponent and looking to sneak in that arm under the chin. Takanori is now bloodied and bruised and eventually allows just enough room for BJ to do his work. Sliding under the chin he squeezes in the rear-naked choke, forcing the Japanese warrior to tap, handing the fight to Penn.