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Takanori Gomi knocks out Melvin Guillard at Rizin 11

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Gallery Photo: UFC 144 Fight Night Photos
Takanori Gomi scored his first knockout win since 2012.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Two lightweight strikers battled for two and a half minutes in the Rizin ring, and “The Fireball Kid” scored his first knockout victory in more than six years.

Japanese star Takanori Gomi took on Melvin Guillard at Rizin 11 in Saitama, Japan, on Sunday morning, in a match-up of veterans who desperately looked for a victory after the longest losing streak of their careers. Gomi, who had lost his last six, extended Guillard’s winless skid to nine bouts with a vicious first-round knockout.

Bantamweight star Kyoji Horiguchi returned to action in the co-main event at Saitama Super Arena, and went the distance for the first time after a series of five stoppages. The UFC veteran met Hiromasa Ogikubo less than three months after a nine-second knockout over Ian McCall, and won via unanimous decision.

In the light heavyweight division, former Rizin tournament finalist Jiri Prochazka improved his winning streak to five with a first-round knockout over Bruno Cappelozza. After being hurt early in the fight with a jab, Prochazka came back and knocked Cappelozza down multiple times before putting the Brazilian out cold with a series of right hands on the ground.

TUF winner and UFC veteran Diego Brandao also scored a big finish this morning in Japan. Making his promotional debut after a 2-1 run in Fight Nights Global, Brandao knocked out Satoru Kitaoka with heavy shots while the Japanese veteran attempted to score a submission on the ground.

In the first fight of the night, Daron Cruickshank forced Brazilian striker Tom Santos to tap in the final minute of the fight after getting to the mount position and landing a brutal right elbow to his face, opening a big cut in Santos’ forehead.

Check Rizin 11 complete results below.

Kanna Asakura def. Rena Kubota via unanimous decision
Kyoji Horiguchi def.. Hiromasa Ogikubo via unanimous decision
Jiri Prochazka def. Bruno Cappelozza via KO (R1, 1:23)
Takanori Gomi def. Melvin Guillard via KO (R1, 2:33)
Diego Brandao def. Satoru Kitaoka via KO (R1, 1:30)
Unurjargal Boldpurev def. Shoma Shibisai via unanimous decision
Miyuu Yamamoto def. Saori Ishioka via split decision
Thanongsaklek Chuwattana def. Tadaaki Yamamoto via KO (R1, 1:06)
Daron Cruickshank def. Tom Santos via TKO (R3, 4:11)