Though his appearance octagonside for UFC 79: Nemesis nearly went unnoticed, PRIDE Lightweight Champion Takanori Gomi sat alongside Tito Ortiz for the UFC’s year-end card in Las Vegas this past weekend. His appearance at the event caused year-long rumors that he was UFC-bound to again resurface though UFC President Dana White quickly quashed hopes that a signing was imminent during the post-event press conference:
“I’ve wanted to sign Takanori Gomi for a long time. I am very interested in him. Gomi was just here to watch the fights. He did stop by and say hello though.”
While we won’t be seeing the “Fireball Kid” fighting in the octagon anytime soon his appearance at the event and White’s post-event comments indicate that the UFC has not given up on signing the number-one ranked lightweight in the world.