Japanese MMA fighter Akihiro Gono is expected to make a complete recovery after suffering head and neck injuries when he was knocked out by a brutal head kick from Dan Hornbuckle Sunday.
Hornbuckle's kick was one of the MMA knockouts of the year, a kick that Hornbuckle set up perfectly by grabbing Gono's right foot, planting his own left foot and then driving his right shin into Gono's chin. Gono fell like a chopped down tree, with his neck landing on the rope and his head hitting the canvas.
Gono was taken out of the ring on a stretcher, and Tony Loiseleur of Sherdog reports that Gono was diagnosed with a concussion, possible brain hemorrhaging and damage to his neck. But he is reportedly conscious and alert, and he's expected to be released from the hospital within a day and to make a full recovery.
A well-known fighter in both Japan and North America whose last three fights were in the UFC, Gono fell to 29-15-7 with the loss. Hornbuckle, a native of Mahomet, Illinois who is not very well known outside hard-core MMA fans, improved to 18-2.