He’s no Genki Sudo but Akihiro Gono knows how to leave a lasting impression. The welterweight sensation has the ability to dazzle the crowd with a slick submission or a devastating knockout, but if for some reason he can’t finish a fight, at least his over-the-top entrances will be implanted in people’s memories.
Gono will face Dan Hornbuckle at Sengoku Ninth Battle on Aug. 2.
The Stereotypical Akihiro Gono Entrance
The adrenaline starts pumping in the arena as “Bounce With Me” by DJ Ozma hits the speakers. Everyone anticipates the arrival of Akihiro Gono. But Gono ‘the fighter’ doesn’t step out from behind the curtain. Instead it’s him as his alter ego DJ Gozma, and he is clad in a blonde wig and a white suit good enough to earn him an invite to one of Diddy’s parties in the Hamptons. With his crew behind him in matching black tracksuits, Gono, errr, Gozma looks as if he is about to rip someone’s head off. Once he and his crew walk halfway down the ramp, something unexpectedly happens – they lip synch and dance far more extravagantly than Ashlee Simpson did on SNL.
Pride Bushido 12 (vs. Gegard Mousasi)
This seems like the regular Gono entrance, but there are two differences with this one. Gono’s wig is red and his entourage are decked out in white full body suits. What ensues after is the futuristic version of West Side Story: Gono pushes these guys off the ramp before performing a synchronized dance sequence. Then when he hits the ring, he fulfills every Japanese girl and Perez Hilton’s fantasy: he strips down to his zebra striped tights.
UFC 89 (vs. Dan Hardy)
Gono traded in the suit jacket and blonde wig for a Sprawl t-shirt and a brown hairpiece during this event. He seemed a little angrier this time around – either due to the change in uniform or because he had wanted to dance sooner. But once he got to dancing, he was a happy man and his enthusiasm caused one of the pre-fight walk security members to get in on the action. Gono was so happy that after he striped down to his zebra-striped shorts, he put on a pair of Sprawl shorts (whether Dana White or Sprawl made him is a different story). The downside to this? The kick to the nuts from Dan Hardy and the body check from Dan Miragliotta that almost knocked out Gono.
UFC 94 Weigh In
Grand entrances aren’t the only thing Gono weaves his creativity into. The night before UFC 94, Gono stepped onto the scales wearing a monstrous black fro. It didn’t necessarily strike fear in the heart of Jon Fitch however. It only made Fitch want to wear it during the pre-fight stare down.
UFC 94 (vs. Jon Fitch)
Everyone thought Gono was going to strut his way to the Octagon wearing a monstrous black fro. After all, he wore it during the weigh-ins. Instead the Japanese welterweight fooled us all by putting himself and his dancers in dresses that are usually reserved for the prostitutes soliciting handjobs in New York’s Meat District. Though Gono lost the fight, the only thing the MMA Community will remember is this sensational drag show. The video is shoddy, but the memory remains – for better or for worse.