Looks like Affliction is getting close to adding another big name fighter to its roster.
According to MMA Weekly, Affliction is currently ironing out the details, specifically “financial considerations,” to bring former number one lightweight Takanori Gomi back to the US to face Brett Cooper.
Japanese star Takanori Gomi is in advanced negotiations to face Brett Cooper at Affliction “Trilogy” on Aug. 1, MMAWeekly.com has learned from sources close to the fight.
Both parties have agreed to the match-up, though financial considerations are still being ironed out. The fight is being considered at a 165-pound weight limit.
If it was 2005-2007, we’d probably be saying, holy shit, Affliction is close to signing Takanori Gomi! It’s not though, and instead, I’m sitting here wondering if this is even a good move for Affliction. It really depends on a) how serious Gomi is about fighting these days (read: is he going to suck?), and b) how much is Affliction willing to pay him.
The problem with the money is, despite his recent performances, Gomi still has a big name in the sport, and thus commands a higher salary than most of the other lightweights sitting outside the top ten. He’s not going to help Affliction sell pay-per-views here in the US, and at least at this point, there’s no reason to believe he might down the road after a decent amount of exposure like they’re banking on with Fedor.
So, it really comes down to what kind of money Gomi is wanting. Affliction’s initial strategy may have been to dish out the mega-bucks just to get their show off the ground, but that resulted in a ton of fighters wanting to sign with them for the big bucks too, sorta like how the UFC just made a verbal deal with Cro Cop for one fight, and now you have M-1 wondering why they can’t have the same thing for Fedor. Maybe that’s not the case with Gomi, but if Affliction gives him anything close to the six-figures, I’d say they’re paying too much.
Of course, Gomi could always come back with a fire under his ass looking like the world beater he once was, in which case we’d all be praising Affliction for landing him. Much like everything in this business, it’s a gamble. You never know what’s going to happen. For Affliction’s sake, I hope this one pays off.
In other Affliction “Trilogy” news, Tom Atencio confirmed on this week’s edition of Fox Fight Game that the awesome match-up between Vitor Belfort and Jorge Santiago has been finalized. It’s definitely going to be another can’t miss card.
Update: Scratch the Gomi vs Cooper fight. Tom Atencio told Ariel Helwani it’s not happening because Gomi doesn’t want to go up in weight. Gomi may still end up fighting on the card against someone else though.