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Takanori Gomi vs. Rafaello Oliveira Set for Affliction: Trilogy

Takanori Gomi, one of Japan's biggest MMA stars, will fight in the United States for the second time in his career on August 1 when he takes on Rafaello Oliveira at Affliction Trilogy.

The presence of Gomi on the pay-per-view card is yet another sign that Affliction is willing to spend big money to attract hard-core MMA fans. At his best, Gomi was regarded as one of the Top 5 pound-for-pound fighters in the world, and he was one of the most exciting fighters in Pride during that organization's heyday. Gomi still commands a hefty salary, and I'm sure Affliction is giving him a fairly big paycheck to fight the 8-1 Oliveira, a talented but relatively green 27-year-old.

But Gomi is no longer at his best, having lost two of his last three fights, and you have to wonder how much business sense it makes for Affliction to put Gomi on this card. Anyone who would buy Affliction: Trilogy on pay-per-view to see Gomi was already going to buy Affliction: Trilogy on pay-per-view to see the main event of Fedor Emelianenko vs. Josh Barnett.

So while I'm personally excited about Affliction: Trilogy, I have to think it's going to be another money loser for Affliction. And that means it may be their last show. At least they're going out with a bang.

Note: This will be Gomi's fourth fight on U.S. soil. He beat Stephen Palling in Hawaii in 1999, lost to BJ Penn in Hawaii in 2003 and lost to Nick Diaz in Pride in 2007.