Gomi entered the Octagon with his bleach-blond hair, but done up in a Mohawk, contrasting Lauzon’s shaven head.
Gomi didn’t look like he had been sidelined for 10 months, as he came out aggressively from the opening bell, firing off punches.
His aggression didn’t faze Lauzon, who made his UFC debut in 2006 with a knockout of Jens Pulver. The Boston native bided his time, shooting and taking Gomi to the ground about a minute-and-a-half into the fight.
He threatened a leg lock, but quickly took the Japanese fighter’s back, sinking his hooks and flattening him out. From there, it was all Lauzon, as he unleashed some brutal, arcing punches that rocked Gomi.
“He’s a legend of the sport,” said Lauzon after the fight. “Pretty cool to be in the cage with him. Kind of crappy, hurting your hero, but that’s how it goes.”
A couple more punches later, and Lauzon realized that Gomi was out and stopped hurting his hero. Despite referee Herb Dean not yet waving off the fight, Lauzon got up and started to walk away.
As Lauzon walked away, Dean took a closer look at Gomi, and it took him a few seconds longer, but finally decided to call the fight.
As Dean hesitated, Lauzon thought maybe he had made a mistake by getting up, but continuing to pile on the punishment wasn’t something he wanted to do to a fighter that he has looked up to over the years.
“He was completely unconscious; he was down. I should’ve kept punching. It was the smart thing to do, but the guy’s a hero,” said Lauzon. “I didn’t want to do any extra.”