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Takanori Gomi returns to GRABAKA gym

Takanori Gomi (29-4) began training this week at the GRABAKA gym for his fight at "Sengoku 7" on Jan. 4 in Tokyo, Japan. Gomi will fight Satoru Kitaoka in the promotion's first-ever lightweight title bout.

"The last time I trained with them was about seven years ago to prepare for Rumina Sato," Gomi said Tuesday on his blog, referring to his Shooto championship win in 2001.

Gomi was inspired while training with middleweight Kazuo "Grabaka Hitman" Misaki, who will also fight for a title on Jan. 4.

"I felt the strong fighting spirit from Misaki. He's developed himself by going through battles with top fighters."

Gomi, often criticized for fighting unheralded opponents, admitted that he hasn't been properly motivated to live up to his top ranked status.

"Professional fighters should make every effort to improve themselves," Gomi said. "I am ashamed that I didn't have a higher motivation to become a better fighter the last two years."

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