UFC on FUEL TV 8 took place March 2, 2013 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. TUF 1 alum Diego Sanchez (24-5) returned to the lightweight division for the first time since 2009 to take on former Pride champion Takanori Gomi (34-9, 1 NC) on night's main card. Check out the video highlights above.
Round 1: Marc Goddard is the referee for this one. Sanchez missed weight Friday by two pounds. Gomi with a right hand, Sanchez with a left kick to the body and Gomi answers with a combo. Gomi controlling the action. Sanchez closes the distance but eats an uppercut. Gomi eats a low blow, but is right back into action. Sanchez with a takedown, but Gomi is right back to his feet. Big chant in the Saitama crowd for Gomi. Sanchez clearly respects Gomi's punching power. Gomi throws a knee, but Sanchez turns it into a double-leg takedown. Sanchez gets a kneebar, but Gomi escapes and they're back to their feet. Gomi rocks Sanchez backwards with a body shot. Gomi with a kick to the body. Sanchez catches a Gomi kick and turns it into a takedown right at the horn. MMAFighting scores the round for Diego Sanchez, 10-9.
Round 2: First minute is mainly Sanchez circling away from Gomi. Sanchez goes for the takedown, doesn't get it. Sanchez with a low blow of a kick, getting a warning from Goddard this time. A pattern develops with Sanchez throwing single kicks and Gomi answering with counter combos. Midway through the round. Gomi throwing low kicks to Sanchez's lead leg. Gomi still stalking Sanchez, appears to be lining him up for a one-punch KO. Gomi sprawls a Sanchez takedown attempt. Sanchez connects with a couple kicks to the body. Gomi opens up with a combo and Sanchez counters. MMAFighting scores the round for Takanori Gomi, 10-9 (19-19 overall).
Round 3: Round three starts out similar to the first two. Two minutes in, Gomi stalking Sanchez and throwing two-punch combos, Sanchez occasionally throwing kicks. Midway through the round, still very much either fighter's round. Gomi sprawls a Sanchez takedown attempt. Sanchez with a wild high kick, which Gomi evades. Sanchez throws a low kick and Gomi pops him with a left. They simultaneously throw kicks with Gomi getting the best of it. Sanchez finally starts swinging in the final 10 seconds, about 14:50 too late. MMAFighting scores the round for Takanori Gomi, 10-9 (29-28 Gomi overall).
UFC on FUEL TV 8 results: Diego Sanchez def. Takanori Gomi via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).