Akihiro Gono

Akihiro Gono (郷野聡寛, Gōno Akihiro) (born October 7, 1974) is a Japanese mixed martial artist currently competing in the Lightweight division. A professional competitor since 1994, he is best known for his clever and deceptive fighting style, and for his flashy ring entrances. Gono has competed for the UFC, PRIDE Fighting Championships, Pancrase, the World Series of Fighting, DEEP, World Victory Road, Shooto, Bellator, and also participated in the Dynamite!! 2009 event.

Akihiro Gono
Born (1974-10-07) October 7, 1974 (age 45)
Higashikurume, Tokyo, Japan
Other names"The Magic Man", "DJ GOZMA", "The Japanese Sensation", "Impregnable Big Mouth"
Height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight156 lb (71 kg; 11.1 st)
Light Heavyweight
Fighting out ofHigashikurume, Tokyo, Japan
TeamTeam Grabaka
OxyGym Fight Team
Haleo Top Team[1]
Years active1994-2012; 2013-present
Kickboxing record
By knockout1
By knockout3
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout7
By submission9
By decision19
By disqualification1
By knockout8
By submission4
By decision12
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: November 17, 2012

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

Shooto and PancraseEdit

Akihiro Gono began fighting mixed martial arts in 1994, competing in the Lumax Cup tournaments as a sambo representative. He got a win over Kazunari Murakami via head kick, but lost to him in their rematch the next year. Gono originally debuted in Fighting Network Rings's undercard, but he moved to Shooto after the Lumax Cup. His run there was uneventful, although he drew Jutaro Nakao and led Matt Hughes to a decision in his first years. The 2000 would be his breakout year, winning about veteran Masanori Suda, knocking out Ivan Salaverry via spinning kick and drawing with Murilo "Ninja" Rua.

Gono left Shooto for Pancrase in 2001 and became a member of Sanae Kikuta's Grabaka team. He again showed improvement, beating twice renowned Keiichiro Yamamiya and Chris Haseman and having a spirited match with Yuki Kondo, as well as a draw with Chael Sonnen. He stopped fighting for Pancrase in 2005 in order to focus in PRIDE Fighting Championships, though still as a Grabaka member.

PRIDE Fighting ChampionshipsEdit

He began fighting in PRIDE Bushido with Bushido 2 in 2004, facing Murilo's brother Maurício "Shogun" Rua. Gono avoided Rua's first flurries with an elusive style, throwing Rua to the mat twice, but he was knocked out via punches and kicks when Maurício finally caught him. However, Akihiro recovered from his defeat at his next event, facing Gracie family member Rodrigo Gracie. The match was heated, as Rodrigo had submitted Gono's fellow shooter Hayato Sakurai in his debut while Gono had defeated Cesar Gracie's student Tim McKenzie back in Pancrase. During the match, Gono traded strikes with Gracie and was taken down and pressed at the first round, but he came back at the second, stopping takedowns and capitalizing with strikes, including a head stomp which bloodied Gracie.

In September 2005, Akihiro took part in the PRIDE Welterweight Grand Prix. He became controversial for criticizing Ryo Chonan and Masanori Suda's performances and right to fight in the tournament, somewhat they called off on him back.[2] At the first round, Gono won an upset over Daniel Acacio, showing one more time his ability to avoid damage in stand-up and counterattack. The same night, at the second round, he faced Dan Henderson, suffering an accidental headbutt before losing the match by KO.

In 2006, Gono returned to PRIDE, this time playing a new character, DJ Gozma, a parody of Japanese musician DJ OZMA. His entrances involved Gono wearing a vintage suit, including shoes and an orange wig, and accompanied by oddly-dressed male dancers while the song age♂age♂EVERY☆Night by DJ OZMA played in the background. Also, when the fighters were introduced in the ring, Gono would drop his suit's pants to reveal zebra stripped fighting briefs.

He participated in the next edition of the Welterweight Grand Prix, defeating Cuban Olympic judoka Hector Lombard on the first round. Characteristically, Gono avoided the damage from Lombard's aggressive initial combinations and countered him with hard punches, keeping his hands unorthodoxly low and throwing spinning backfists. His next round match would be against Gegard Mousasi, which he won again, deflecting his attacks and working an armbar for the tap out. However, Gono was eliminated at the semifinals by Denis Kang.

Gono's last apparition in Pride was at Shockwave 2006, fighting a revenge match with Yuki Kondo which came from their Pancrase days. Despite injuring his hand earlier in the match, Gono won the match by unanimous decision.

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit

Gono defeated Tamdan McCrory at UFC 78, by submission due to an Armbar at 3:19 of the second round. It was reported (first by Dave Meltzer) that he came out to his usual entrance with his DJ GOZMA persona.

Gono then took on Dan Hardy at UFC 89, but suffered defeat via split decision. Gono was left swollen and bloodied by several of Hardy's left hooks.[3] Gono rocked Hardy on more than one occasion.[4] In the third round Gono pushed Hardy to the canvas, and subsequently landed an illegal knee to the face of the downed fighter.[3] This caused the fight to be stopped for a short period. Hardy recovered and went on to win the split decision. The judges saw the bout 29-28 (twice) for Hardy, and 29-28 for Gono.

Gono lost to Jon Fitch in a preliminary bout at UFC 94: St. Pierre vs. Penn 2. Following his loss to Jon Fitch, Gono was released from the UFC. He left the company with a 1-2 record.


After being released by the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Gono fought Dan Hornbuckle at World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku 9 losing via head kick knockout in the third round.

Gono then fought Yoon Young Kim at World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku 11 winning the fight via unanimous decision.

Gono fought fellow PRIDE veteran Hayato Sakurai at Dynamite!! 2009 winning the fight via armbar, late in the second round.

Gono fought Diego Gonzalez at World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku Raiden Championships 12 winning the fight via unanimous decision.

Gono made his Lightweight debut against Kyokushin kaikan expert Jadamba Narantungalag at World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku Raiden Championships 14 on August 22, 2010. He lost the fight via unanimous decision.

ONE Fighting ChampionshipEdit

Gono was photographed in the VIP area at ONE Fighting Championship: Champion vs. Champion leading to multiple websites speculating that he was about to sign a multi-fight deal with ONE Fighting Championship.[5][6]

Bellator and first retirementEdit

After losing to Michael Chandler at Bellator 67 on May 4, 2012, Gono announced his first retirement from MMA.[7]

Return to MMAEdit

Just under a year after he announced his retirement, Gono returned to MMA when he faced Taisuke Okuno at DEEP: 62nd Impact on April 26, 2013.[8] He lost the fight by KO. Gono then fought to a draw against Yuki Okano at DEEP – Cage Impact 2013 on November 24, 2013.[9]

Training and fighting in BrazilEdit

After training for months in Brazil at Oxygym in the city of Gramado, Gono back to action facing Brazilian prospect Eduardo Garvon at The Hill Fighters 1 in his Brazilian home-town city of Gramado. Gono had problems in the standup fight against the taller Brazilian, but seconds away for the end of the fight, Gono submitted Garvon via technical submission (arm-triangle choke).

He won his second fight in Brazil at The Hill Fighters 2 against André de Jesus via split decision.


He lost to Bovy Sor Udomson via TKO (referee stoppage) in round one at Shootboxing 2012: Act 4 on September 17, 2012, in Tokyo, Japan, failing to qualify for the 2012 S-Cup.[10]

He lost to Satoru Suzuki by TKO at the end of round one in a reserve bout at the Shoot Boxing World Tournament 2012 in Tokyo, Japan on November 17, 2012.[11][12][13]

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
67 matches 36 wins 23 losses
By knockout 7 8
By submission 9 4
By decision 19 11
By disqualification 1 0
Draws 8
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 36–24–8 Yuki Kondo Decision (unanimous) Pancrase: 305 May 26, 2019 3 3:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 36–23–8 Adriano Balby Decision (split) Rebel FC 7: Fight for Honour April 29, 2018 3 5:00 Shanghai, China
Win 36–22–8 Kyohei Wakimoto Decision (split) Pancrase: 293 February 4, 2018 3 3:00 Tokyo, Japan Return to Welterweight.
Loss 35–22–8 Akira Okada Decision (unanimous) Pancrase: 290 October 8, 2017 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 35–21–8 Killys Mota TKO (punches) Fight 2 Night 2 April 28, 2017 3 1:55 Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil
Win 35–20–8 Akhmat Akhmedov Decision (split) Real Fight Championship 5 June 12, 2016 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 34–20–8 Miroslav Strbak KO (punches) WSOF Global Championship 2 February 7, 2016 2 2:42 Tokyo, Japan
Win 34–19–8 Andre de Jesus Decision (split) THF: The Hill Fighters 2 July 12, 2014 3 5:00 Gramado, Brazil
Win 33–19–8 Eduardo Garvon Technical Submission (arm-triangle choke) THF: The Hill Fighters 1 May 1, 2014 3 4:58 Gramado, Brazil Return to Lightweight.
Draw 32–19–8 Yuki Okano Draw (split) DEEP: Cage Impact 2013 November 24, 2013 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan Welterweight bout.
Loss 32–19–7 Taisuke Okuno KO (punch) DEEP: 62nd Impact April 26, 2013 2 2:07 Tokyo, Japan Welterweight bout.
Loss 32–18–7 Michael Chandler TKO (punches) Bellator 67 May 4, 2012 1 0:56 Rama, Ontario, Canada Announced retirement at the post-fight press conference.
Loss 32–17–7 Daisuke Nakamura Decision (unanimous) DEEP – 57th Impact February 18, 2012 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan Welterweight bout.
Loss 32–16–7 Jadamba Narantungalag Decision (unanimous) World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku Raiden Championships 14 August 22, 2010 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan Lightweight debut.
Win 32–15–7 Diego Gonzalez Decision (unanimous) World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku Raiden Championships 12 March 7, 2010 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 31–15–7 Hayato Sakurai Submission (armbar) Dynamite!! The Power of Courage 2009 December 31, 2009 2 3:56 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Win 30–15–7 Yoon Young Kim Decision (unanimous) World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku 11 November 7, 2009 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 29–15–7 Dan Hornbuckle KO (head kick) World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku 9 August 2, 2009 3 2:50 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Loss 29–14–7 Jon Fitch Decision (unanimous) UFC 94 January 31, 2009 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 29–13–7 Dan Hardy Decision (split) UFC 89 October 18, 2008 3 5:00 Birmingham, England
Win 29–12–7 Tamdan McCrory Submission (armbar) UFC 78 November 17, 2007 2 3:19 Newark, United States Returned to Welterweight; won Submission of the Night honors.
Win 28–12–7 Yuki Kondo Decision (split) PRIDE FC: Shockwave 2006 December 31, 2006 2 5:00 Saitama, Japan
Loss 27–12–7 Denis Kang Decision (unanimous) PRIDE: Bushido 13 November 5, 2006 2 5:00 Yokohama, Japan PRIDE 2006 Welterweight (83 kg) Grand Prix Semifinal.
Win 27–11–7 Gegard Mousasi Submission (armbar) PRIDE: Bushido 12 August 26, 2006 2 4:24 Nagoya, Japan PRIDE 2006 Welterweight (83 kg) Grand Prix Quarterfinal.
Win 26–11–7 Hector Lombard Decision (unanimous) PRIDE: Bushido 11 June 4, 2006 2 5:00 Saitama, Japan PRIDE 2006 Welterweight (83 kg) Grand Prix Opening Round.
Win 25–11–7 Dae Won Kim Submission (armbar) PRIDE: Bushido 10 April 2, 2006 1 9:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 24–11–7 Dan Henderson KO (punch) PRIDE Bushido 9 September 25, 2005 1 7:58 Tokyo, Japan PRIDE 2005 Welterweight (83 kg) Grand Prix Semifinal.
Win 24–10–7 Daniel Acacio Decision (unanimous) PRIDE Bushido 9 September 25, 2005 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan PRIDE 2005 Welterweight (83 kg) Grand Prix Opening Round.
Win 23–10–7 Crosley Gracie Decision PRIDE Bushido 7 May 22, 2005 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 22–10–7 Tim McKenzie TKO (punches) Pancrase: Brave 10 November 7, 2004 2 2:53 Urayasu, Chiba, Japan
Win 21–10–7 Tsuyoshi Kurihara KO (punch) Pancrase: Brave 6 June 22, 2004 1 2:15 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 20–10–7 Maurício Rua TKO (soccer kick) PRIDE Bushido 2 February 15, 2004 1 9:04 Yokohama, Japan Middleweight (93 kg) bout.
Win 20–9–7 Nilson de Castro Decision (unanimous) Pancrase: Hybrid 10 November 30, 2003 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 19–9–7 Daisuke Watanabe KO (punch) Pancrase: Hybrid 9 October 31, 2003 2 3:49 Tokyo, Japan
Win 18–9–7 Nilson de Castro DQ (groin strike) Pancrase: 10th Anniversary Show August 31, 2003 1 0:29 Tokyo, Japan
Win 17–9–7 Flavio Luiz Moura Decision (majority) Pancrase: Hybrid 5 May 18, 2003 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 16–9–7 Chris Haseman Decision (majority) ZST 2: The Battle Field 2 March 9, 2003 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan Heavyweight bout.
Draw 15–9–7 Chael Sonnen Draw Pancrase: Hybrid 2 February 16, 2003 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 15–9–6 Keiichiro Yamamiya TKO (punches) Pancrase: Spirit 9 December 21, 2002 3 3:49 Tokyo, Japan
Draw 14–9–6 Osami Shibuya Draw Pancrase: Spirit 6 August 25, 2002 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 14–9–5 Kousei Kubota Decision (unanimous) Pancrase: Spirit 4 May 11, 2002 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 13–9–5 Yuki Kondo TKO (corner stoppage) Pancrase: Proof 7 December 1, 2001 3 0:52 Tokyo, Japan
Win 13–8–5 Keiichiro Yamamiya Decision (unanimous) Pancrase: Proof 6 October 30, 2001 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Draw 12–8–5 Dustin Denes Draw DEEP: 2nd Impact August 18, 2001 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 12–8–4 Daisuke Watanabe TKO (doctor stoppage) Pancrase: Proof 4 June 26, 2001 2 0:52 Tokyo, Japan
Draw 11–8–4 Murilo Rua Draw Shooto: To The Top 4 May 1, 2001 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 11–8–3 Ivan Salaverry KO (spinning back kick) Shooto: To The Top 1 January 19, 2001 1 3:06 Tokyo, Japan
Win 10–8–3 Masanori Suda Decision (unanimous) Shooto: R.E.A.D. 12 November 12, 2000 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 9–8–3 Andy Wang Decision (unanimous) Shooto: R.E.A.D. 5 May 22, 2000 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Draw 8–8–3 Larry Papadopoulos Decision (draw) Shooto: R.E.A.D. 1 January 14, 2000 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 8–8–2 Lance Gibson Decision (majority) SB 13: SuperBrawl 13 September 7, 1999 3 5:00 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Loss 8–7–2 Matt Hughes Decision (unanimous) Shooto: 10th Anniversary Event May 29, 1999 3 5:00 Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
Draw 8–6–2 Marcos da Silva Draw Shooto: Devilock Fighters January 15, 1999 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 8–6–1 Adriano de Souza Submission (armbar) Shooto: Las Grandes Viajes 6 November 27, 1998 1 2:46 Tokyo, Japan
Win 7–6–1 Matt Rocca Submission (armbar) Shooto: Shoot the Shooto XX April 26, 1998 1 3:12 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 6–6–1 Larry Papadopoulos Decision (split) Shooto: Reconquista 4 October 12, 1997 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Draw 6–5–1 Jutaro Nakao Draw Shooto: Gig June 25, 1997 3 5:00 Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
Win 6–5 Tsunemichi Nagano Decision (unanimous) Daidojuku: WARS 4 March 11, 1997 5 3:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 5–5 Masato Fujiwara Decision (unanimous) Shooto: Reconquista 1 January 18, 1997 4 3:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 4–5 Kazuhiro Kusayanagi Submission (armbar) Shooto: Let's Get Lost October 4, 1996 4 2:52 Japan
Win 4–4 Masanori Suda Submission (rear-naked choke) Shooto: Free Fight Kawasaki July 28, 1996 4 0:33 Japan
Loss 3–4 Todd Bjornethun Submission (armbar) Shooto: Vale Tudo Junction 3 May 7, 1996 3 1:12 Japan
Loss 3–3 Kazunari Murakami Decision Lumax Cup: Tournament of J '96 March 30, 1996 2 5:00 Japan
Win 3–2 Yasushi Warita Submission (Achilles lock) Lumax Cup: Tournament of J '96 March 30, 1996 1 0:54 Japan
Win 2–2 Tatsuharu Doi Decision (majority) Daidojuku: WARS 3 February 17, 1996 2 3:00 Japan
Loss 1–2 Egan Inoue Submission (armbar) Lumax Cup: Tournament of J '95 October 13, 1995 1 1:33 Japan
Win 1–1 Kazunari Murakami KO (head kick) Lumax Cup: Tournament of J '95 October 13, 1995 1 2:25 Japan
Loss 0–1 Yasunori Okuda Submission (toe hold) Lumax Cup: Tournament of J '94 April 23, 1994 1 1:51 Japan

Mixed rulesEdit

Professional record breakdown
1 match 1 win 0 losses
By knockout 1 0
By submission 0 0
By decision 0 0
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 1-0 Tomoki Kanuka TKO (strikes) RINGS: Battle Genesis Vol.4 June 20, 1998 1 2:27 Nagoya, Japan

Submission grappling recordEdit

Result Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Notes
Loss   Nino Schembri Submission (rear-naked choke) ADCC 2001 –88 kg 2001 1 1:48
Loss   Izuru Takeuchi Decision ADCC 2000 Japan -88 kg 2000 1 5:00
Win   Daisuke Igarashi Submission (rear-naked choke) ADCC 2000 Japan -88 kg 2000 1 1:13
Win   Minoru Toyonaga Decision The CONTENDERS 2 1999 2 5:00
Loss   Ricardo Liborio Decision ADCC 1999 –88 kg 1999 1 10:00

Kickboxing recordEdit

Kickboxing record

Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ http://haleotopteam.com/
  2. ^ http://the-oratory.com/mma-review-296/
  3. ^ a b UFC 89 Play-by-Play
  4. ^ "UFC 89 LIVE RESULTS, PLAY-BY-PLAY, & PHOTOS". MMAWeekly.com. October 17, 2008.
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ "Gono retires following Bellator loss to Chandler". usatoday.com. May 6, 2012.
  8. ^ "Akihiro Gono junks retirement, joins stacked DEEP 62 fight card on April 26 in Tokyo". mmamania.com. March 15, 2013.
  9. ^ "Tsuda Earns Quick KO, Nakamura Submits Sakuragi at Deep 'Cage Impact 2013'". Sherdog. November 24, 2013.
  10. ^ Shootboxing 2012 Act.4 Results: Shishido, Stevelmans, Bovy Qualify for S-Cup
  11. ^ S-Cup Update: More Fights Announced and Tournament Field Confusion
  12. ^ Hinata vs. Ristie Rematch, Imada vs. Abdollahi Complete S-Cup Fight Card
  13. ^ [S-Cup 2012: Andy Souwer Wins 4th S-Cup http://liverkick.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2049:s-cup-2012-andy-souwer-wins-4th-s-cup&catid=37:kickboxing]
  14. ^ World GBC Tour 9 : Les résultats Archived 2015-11-21 at the Wayback Machine(in French)

External linksEdit