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Florian vs. Gomi For Fight Night 21? Sure, Why Not

(Howler Monkey vs. former sensation, who ya got?)

One of our favorite aspects of Twitter is watching people try, and then inevitably fail, to keep a secret.  It never gets old.  For instance, first the official "MMA Live" Twitter posts a teaser that Kenny Florian will be revealing when his fight with former Pride star and UFC newcomer Takanori Gomi will take place.  Sounds like a reason to watch the show, right?  Then right after that they tell us it’s at UFC Fight Night 21 on March 31st.  So, you know, mystery solved.

In any event, here’s a fight worth getting pumped about.  Florian is coming off his crushing loss to B.J. Penn, (edit: and the ensuing Clay Guida win, duh) but as he told us last month, he’s been working with Firas Zahabi, trying some new things, and itching for a fight.  Matching him up with Gomi right off the bat tells us that the UFC isn’t interested in letting "The Fireball Kid" start slow against some former TUFers and work his way up to the top of the division.  Instead it’s sink or swim, and right away. 

It’s been a couple years since Gomi has looked really impressive, but will his move to the UFC and a little training time at AKA be enough to spark a career renaissance?  Or is Florian too well-rounded for Gomi to overcome in his first Octagon appearance? 

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VadersAsthmaMeds- January 22, 2010 at 5:21 am
Samurai - that's a good question. Firstly, I think featherweight will be his last option. UFC doesn't have a FW division, and I don't think anyone really cares about it that much. Let WEC keep control of that one, and good luck to them with it.

As for going up to WW, until GSP vacates the championship by moving up to MW, fuggetaboutit. Florian might be able to hang with some of the WWs out there now, but up against a guy like fitch, Alves, or Anthony Johnson? No way. No fucking way. Florian would be too easily overpowered, although I'm curious to see what would happen to his skull when Johnson slams him to the mat and starts flailing. If he couldn't do shit against a guy like BJ Penn, then it would be athletic suicide to go for WW.

Ref, Nate Diaz, I love that he wants to move up to WW. Same thing - he's too small and definitely too weak to be anywhere near the WW division. Buuuuuttt, I'd love to see him get his big flappy mouth bricked shut, and I'll also laugh when he tries to mean mug the guys in WW. He should have the words Scrappy-Doo across the ass of his trunks.
mma samurai- January 22, 2010 at 1:42 am
What do you think Florian will do if he does get another title shot and loses again? Hypothetically speaking of course nothing says he will lose again but what if? Do you all think he'll drop down to featherweight or go up in weight? I don't think going up in weight would be best for him (unless your Nate Diaz apparently), and I don't know if it would be a hard cut for him to make 145. Thoughts, opinions, insights, random drunken ramblings????
mma samurai- January 22, 2010 at 1:39 am

That comment may have come off as stupid to you but actually it from an old saying Kenny just put his own touch on it: "If you meet your father kill your father, if you meet the Budha kill the Budha". I've always liked Kenny Florian because I think he is one of the more intelligent and educated fighters in MMA. He is good for the sport and shows the doubters that fighters aren't just Brock Lesner cavemanesque meat head killers but very smart and well spoken people.

As far as the fight goes I think this will be a great fight. Both guys love to bang, Gomi is more of a wrestler where as Kenflo is a jitz guy (who's wrestling has greatly improved I might add). This would be a great addition to any fight card be it UFN or a UFC PPV event. I think Florian will take it but I think it will be by decision. Florian is an amazing 155er but you can't ever count Gomi out. All in all I can't wait to see it all go down.
Nut Puncher 9000- January 21, 2010 at 11:23 pm
I think all big names who were at one time or another top 5 should get no warm ups in the UFC. You come to the UFC to fight/be the best and as a name (which Gomi is) they are not going to give him to some other 55'r that might get a lucky/deserved win and derail a big fight. EVERYONE in the UFC is tough as nails, and if you are not, you are gone. (exception: TUF 1 contestants and ex - champion MEGA stars)

Gomi / Florian is the perfect fight for Gomi's arrival. Props JS. Its a big name to throw Florian with no real lose. If Florian wins, he just defeated a big name bolstering his chances for a last title shot against BJ. If Gomi wins, then he goes directly to the top for his shot. Unless you are really wanting to see Maynard get crushed on his feet by BJ, then they are going to need more contenders soon for the strap at 55. Can Gomi do it? Doubtful, but at least the UFC will take advantage of his arrival as a new potential powerhouse to position future fights.
robthom- January 21, 2010 at 6:38 pm
"...the UFC isn't interested in letting "The Fireball Kid" start slow against some former TUFers and work his way up to the top of the division. Instead it's sink or swim, and right away. "

It always is for ex-pride guys.

The way pride jerked around and made a fool of the UFC multiple times has left a residual itch for payback IMO. Long after the fact and against anybody even vaguely associated.

It may not be right, but I understand (I'm the same way). Good thing is it appears to be dropped after the intro.
ghostboner- January 21, 2010 at 5:47 pm
@petro - I have been a big kenny fan for years. Yeah, he says dumb shit sometimes (It's time to kill the master!), but I find it hard not to like him. I mean really, who else has finished Guida?
KTM 212- January 21, 2010 at 2:13 pm
I hope kenny makes him look stupid. Let everyone know that the guys in the ufc ARE the best in the world!!!
VadersAsthmaMeds- January 21, 2010 at 1:49 pm
By the way, it's not DW's fault if the best fighters out of Japan get crushed when they come to the UFC. If their best can't beat the best in N. America, tough shit. It is what it is.
VadersAsthmaMeds- January 21, 2010 at 1:45 pm
See, there's the thing: yeah, he beat Guida. And Penn destroyed Sanchez. Aside from Florian, there's nobody else in the division. So I am still thinking of the Florian loss to Penn, since that's what matters.

Here's what I think - I think Florian is a popular guy. I'm not a big fan either way, but whatever. The people seem to like him. So he's training with GSP, right? And he knows exactly what GSP did to Penn. There's the problem: I think Kenny was feeling so good about himself in training with the GSP camp that he started buying into his own media hype. He overlooked the fact that while he may be good, he's no GSP. Doesn't have the same strength, speed, reaction time, etc., and that's why he lost to Penn. I think if those two met up again, be it sooner or later, the same result will happen.
bold- January 21, 2010 at 12:08 pm
@ wrye penn lost to jens pulver for the light weight belt at ufc 35
Kimbos Bread- January 21, 2010 at 10:34 am
Kenflo baby.

Young Robert Davi FTW!
Wrye Bash- January 21, 2010 at 10:31 am
Let's not jump to conclusions! Penn is not unbeatable, it just hasn't happened at lightweight yet. You guys.
iDestroy- January 21, 2010 at 10:21 am
I love gomi. I think we all know that he could never beat Penn, but I at least hope he makes it past florian and gets another shot at him. I really want him to do well in UFC.
Wrye Bash- January 21, 2010 at 10:09 am
Did you forget Keith Jardine and 'Page? The Iceman's day has passed. You know this.

I think Machida lost that fight, that was my original point. Rua was the underdog, for sure. Drawing a parallel here. I think Gomi can win and I think we are being overly dismissive of his talent. You guys. ;)
831 Son- January 21, 2010 at 9:51 am
FAIL CP. Like others said, Florian just beat down Guida. He didn't just come off of a "crushing loss to BJ." That was a while ago.

And yeah I agree with portland. Shogun definately wasn't himself in the coleman fight and coming off major injuries/surgeries is insanely hard. I dont classify anyone as champ though untill they defend the belt at least once. Forest and Rashad= not champs.
ReX13- January 21, 2010 at 9:47 am
Wrye Bash>>

Yeeeeeah imma have to go ahead and ask to come in on saturday....
and watch some more of Rua's fights.

Let's throw out the loss to Coleman, since it was a freak injury and that loss was later avenged. Prior to that: unbeaten since '03, lost to Babalu. Not a nobody.

Lost to Griffin: again, not a nobody. Argument has been made that he was in bad shape and should have won that fight. I expect a rematch between them sooner or later, regardless if Rua beats Machida.

Speaking of Machida, he's the other loss of Rua's record. And, you know, Machida totally trashed him, right?

A record of 22-4 isn't all that terrible, especially when you're (mostly) matched up with the best fighters throughout your career. Gomi just doesn't have the same level of competition on his resume. Now, i could be wrong, and he could possibly make Florian look like a bum, but i doubt it.

You guys.
portland mma- January 21, 2010 at 9:35 am
@wyre bash, dude when Shogun fought Coleman (the second time) he was coming off of 2 ruptured ACL surgeries... I don't know if you know anything about surgeries and fighting shape, but that's a big fucking deal...I also love how you negate Rua's win over Chuck because he was becoming "increasingly beatable," yes he was so shitty that the two guys that beat him are ranked #2 and #4 in the world at their weight class, Chuck didn't get beat by James Irvin it was freaking Shogun and Rashad (who if I remember correctly was the champ there for a bit). No comparison to Gomi at all.
landertime- January 21, 2010 at 9:34 am
hurtin for Gomi. feels bigger than a fight night card though.
BalkanToni- January 21, 2010 at 9:34 am
I agree with Petro as well.
Frank Mur- January 21, 2010 at 9:33 am
They're all assholes, IMO! That's one of the more enjoyable characteristics of "Combat Sports". Everyone seems to have this attitude that they're the "Greatest", so regardless of who wins, someones EGO always gets slam dunked! So, with no "Favorites", I can just sit back and enjoy the techniques, hope for a good fight, and look forward to some tough-guy's EGO taking a shit.
landertime- January 21, 2010 at 9:32 am
Part of Dana White's ingenious plan to expand the UFC globally no doubt. let's take the good asian fighters and immediately give them beat downs. USA! USA!
Kellenavalanche- January 21, 2010 at 9:31 am
Clay Guida, Shmay Guida.
ReX13- January 21, 2010 at 9:28 am
Petro>> i actually do like Kenny. I thought he was a bitch at 185--he got manhandled by Sanchez--but when he dropped to lightweight it was like BOOM hellbow BOOM hellbow, and i started enjoying his game. He's a well-educated guy that fights because he wants it, and he usually puts on a good show. Also, if you're a gambling man, he's not a bad oracle to consult.
thai-clinch- January 21, 2010 at 9:26 am
it'd be cool to see gomi take this for the sake of having legit challengers for penn
but if i were a betting man i'd take kenny
Wrye Bash- January 21, 2010 at 9:26 am
Well, see, that's where you're wrong. He also looked liek shit against a pathetic Coleman, then went on to knockout an increasingly beatable Chuck Liddell. He was looking lackluster at best.

Poor Kenny.

It's not just you. Or maybe it is, because I don't actually want to like him. hmm... One of his problems is that he's boring. You guys.