Put two of the most exciting lightweights in the cage against one another and you have a recipe that could lead to a fight of the year candidate.
Takanori Gomi and Diego Sanchez are two of the most exciting fighters in MMA history. UFC on Fuel 8 pits them against one another.
Gomi has had numerous exciting bouts throughout his career. His scraps with Tatsuya Kawajiri and Nick Diaz are memorable affairs that still are remembered today. While some of his skills have seemingly diminished, he posted another Fight of the Night in his most recent outing against Mac Danzig.
Sanchez has won the Fight of the Night bonus in four of his last six bouts. Throw in his early UFC wars against Nick Diaz and Karo Parisyan and one could make the claim that Sanchez has been the most exciting fighter in UFC history. Recent fights against Clay Guida and Jake Ellenberger have been just as exciting.
Sanchez has shown a penchant for delivering entertaining fights throughout his career, but the bar has already been set high for 2013.
At UFC 157 Dennis Bermudez and Matt Grice put on a show. It is already being talked about as a fight of the year candidate, and will be tough to top. Two months in to the new year and the competition for the best fight is already stiff.
The advantage this fight has over Bermudez vs. Grice is that fans care about these two fighters. That will heighten the level of anticipation and excitement of the fight. That is something that lacked in the Bermudez and Grice battle.
In a perfect world fights would be ranked on their merit alone, but we do not live in a perfect world. Good fights featuring two fighters fans care about will be equal or trump great fights between two lower-level fighters. However, Gomi and Sanchez can post more action in 15 minutes than most others. That gives them a great chance to have the fight of the year.
Fans love slugfests, and this should be nothing short of an all-out brawl.
Gomi loves to go for the knockout. He has serious power in his punches, and does not prefer to take the fight down. Sanchez is similar. He does not necessarily carry the same power in his fists, but he makes up for that with his high output.
Another important factor is that neither fighter backs down. They are aggressive. Two fighters who seek to take the fight to their opponent and not to counter in a less than exciting fashion.
If this fight misses out on Fight of the Night it would be a shock. Expectations are high. If these fighters can exceed those on Saturday that will go a long way to making it a memorable affair.
Sanchez and Gomi are perfect styles to put against one another if you want to create fireworks. That is the right mix for a potential fight of the year contender.