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Kenny Florian vs. Takanori Gomi in the works

Kenny florianThe ink hasn’t even had a chance to dry on the newly signed contract for Japanese power puncher and new UFC acquisition, Takanori Gomi, but that hasn’t prevented the predators that inhabit the most stacked lightweight division on the planet from picking up the familiar scent of fresh blood in the air.

There will be no warm-up fights for Gomi in the UFC unless the man many consider to be the second best lightweight in the world could be viewed as a tune-up by some stretch of the imagination.

ESPN’s MMALive has recently reported via Twitter that the show’s very own Kenny Florian will be the first roadblock standing in the way of Gomi in the knockout artist’s highly anticipated promotional debut.

No date has been set for the match-up between the two as of this writing , but 5 Oz. expects for the date of the bout to be sometime in Spring, with official word coming down shortly.

The bout with Florian would be a big step up in competition for Gomi as of late, who has gone 2-2 in his last four bouts; losing consecutive bouts at the hands of Sergey Golyaev and Satoru Kitaoka before rebounding with back to back wins over the likes of Takashi Nakakura and Tony Hervey.

Florian is coming off of a performance many have judged to be the most impressive of his career, slapping a rear-naked choke on Clay Guida for the submission victory after putting on an absolute boxing clinic for the bulk of the previous round and a half between the two at UFC 107.

The winner of the scrap could very likely get a title shot against UFC 155 pound title holder B.J. Penn; a man that holds a previous rear-naked choke victory over both fighters.

  • Dufresne says:

    This is gonna be a fun fight. I don’t know exactly how it’s going to play out, but I’m kinda pulling for Gomi here.
    I like Florian, but I’d really like to see some new, talented blood in the UFC that could provide an interesting fight for BJ while the rest of the division works out it’s pecking order.

  • 27jride says:

    Excited to see this fight for sure but they should pick an easier fight for Gomi’s first in the states because I really don’t see him getting past Florian. Obviously Joe Silva and Dana must think he can win it because if he loses he’s basically reduced to a gatekeeper like Joe Stevenson; good fighter for sure but never gonna be a title threat.

  • Gomi has to prove it just like everyone else. Cro Cop was given Eddie Sanchez as a tune up and they thought big Gabe would be the same….guess they were wrong. I figure Gomi isnt comin cheap and they feel they should make sure hes solid enough to swim in deep waters or hurry up and get him off the payroll if he’s not. Im stoked to see Gomi in the ufc and Im glad the UFC is throwin him straight into the mix. Just like they did with Lil Nog….and look how that turned out!

  • cool. I was hoping they would give him a easier fight light Diego first but Kenny was my second choice. Kenny will own gomi

  • hindsightufuk says:

    just so stoked to see Gomi fighting again

  • BigDave says:

    I’m intrigued by this fight, I think what is going on here is they want to establish a #1 contender as fast as they can so that Penn doesn’t have the chance to have his face caved in by GSP again. But seriously this could be a great fight and if I was a betting man just based on there last fights Kenny has faced the better fighters and based on that alone i will give the win to Kenflo.

    P.S. Dana, My New Years Resolution is to watch BJ Penn Get retired by the best fighter on the planet so please put him back in the cage with GSP so I can finally keep a resolution. 😉

  • Makington says:

    I wonder if they purposefully matched him up against KenFlo. They could have rightfully put him against a lesser opponent, but that would have meant he’d be going against the big american wrestler type. The few people under Kenny are Griffin, Sherk, Edgar, Maynard, Miller, are all absolutely terrible match ups for Gomi. Needless to say, I think this fight will be a lot more exciting, and hopefully Gomi will do good, although I don’t know if he will.

    Kind of thought that they were going for Kenny and Diego with how much they’ve been talking about it but I’m glad that fight hasn’t happened yet.

  • matt says:

    This would be a great fight. Florian is widely regarded as a top 5 lightweight in the world, while Gomi is the former number 1 lightweight in the world. Gomi has an exciting fighting style, and he likes to push the pace. Kenny is known for finishing fights and putting on exciting performances also. I think a win for Gomi and he will be fighting for a title in his second fight for the ufc. Kenny is right back in contendership with his domination of Guida at ufc 107. I think Gomi’s power and takedown defense will give Florian real problems. I would like to see Gomi win as I don’t think that Kenny will fair any better against BJ Penn then he did the first time. I think Gomi has the better game to deal with Penn, though I don’t see Gomi beating Penn either.

  • Rece Rock says:

    i would like to have seen aoki come on over to the ufc but thats not happening – anyway its nice to see new aquisitions and new comp. but i feel like aoki nor gomi have nothing for BJ but gomi will still make for other interesting fights

  • thunder okami says:

    I <3 Gomi and hope he goes on to win fights after this one

    But anyone who thinks Gomi will beat Florian is stuck in the past and old days of Pride superstars, the same ones thinking Wanderlei and Cro Cop were going to dominate their opponents.

  • PlagueAngel says:

    They are giving Gomi all the meat in his first fight in the UFC. Throwing him to a lion is what I see ultimately, but it will be a good fight watching Florian outstrike and pick apart his prey. They could have giving him an easier opponent to warm up.

  • edub says:

    Dumb fight IMO. Kenny should be fighting Diego, and Gomi should be fighting someone like Miller. What’s Gomi 2-2 in his last four against borderline top 20 opposition. Why should he get a shot right away at a top five guy?

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    A guy who has 31 wins and been a Pride champ with victories over Hansen, Sakurai, Aurellio, Sato, Brennan, Ludwig, Kawajiri, Pulver, Gracie etc and you say he is being thrown to the lions?. He has 5 losses and has avenged 2 of those. What makes you think he deserves any thing less than top 10 status or at least the opportunity to face top dudes?. Edub I know what you are saying but Florian is only 3-1 from his last 4 and 12-4 all up, if you take Gomi last 16 fights he is nearly identical with 12-3-1 (really 12-4).

    “Griffin, Sherk, Edgar, Maynard, Miller, are all absolutely terrible match ups for Gomi”
    Disagree here Makington he is a top wrestler and great boxer too.

    “But anyone who thinks Gomi will beat Florian is stuck in the past and old days of Pride superstars, the same ones thinking Wanderlei and Cro Cop were going to dominate their opponents.”

    What about Rampage, Mousasi, Fedor, Nog (big and small), Hendo, Belfort, Filho, Overeem, Barnett, Werdum, Aoki, Shogun. You named 2 Pride stars out of about 30 who are still top fighters. I think rather than people being stuck in the past you are deluded by the present.
    I wont say Gomi will win but I think he is a great fighter and people over estimate the level of the UFC and under estimate foreign based fighters. It is a phenomenon that I can’t get my head around. What is it based on. Every top fighter that CHOOSES to leave and then struggles outside the UFC is considered “past it” even though they were top 5 when they left. Just wait and see if Hendo loses he will be said to be past it too. Dana must love it, he doesn’t have to bullshit everyone because, for some reason, they bullshit themselves, wanting the UFC to be better and making up excuses for things not going that way.

  • Niv says:

    MMA-LOGIC I’m one of those fans that believes Gomi’s best years are definitely behind him, having said that I agree wholeheartedly with your post.

    This you’re only good if you fight in the UFC business is all bullshit.

    I look forward to seeing Gomi fight I know he will excite us when he steps into the octagon.

  • Dr.Stoppage says:

    I think he will have trouble after having the rise and fall in Japan,and now adjusting to being in America.
    But man,I wanna see him fight,and I hope he does well.
    I don’t see him being a threat to BJ,though,not until he wins a few fights.
    BJ destroyed Gomi in their first fight.
    Personally,I think his first fight should be against Guida,who’s kinda become the lightweight gatekeeper.
    Beat the crap out of Guida,then we’ll talk.

  • Dr.Stoppage says:

    Hell,just for shits and giggles,make Gomi vs.Stout happen.

  • sexy-yama says:

    im very excited to hear this, but i think florian takes it but i will be rooting for gomi all the way, i was hoping they would give him some1 easier rofl guess not

  • dpk says:

    The only reason I don’t like this fight, is because I wanted to see the Kenflo v Deigo rematch. I thought they would match him up with Edgar, which would be another great matchup.

  • Kuch says:

    I like Gomi and I think he will create some interesting fights, but I don’t think Florian is the best first fight for him. If Florian wins, then the next logical opponent for him would be Penn, which I’m not sure a lot of people want to see. I’d rather see Florian fight Sanchez and have Gomi fight Guida.

    In regards to foreign fighters not being respected in the US (or at least in the UFC), I think one has to look at the dismal record most oriental fighters in the UFC. I attribute most of it to the change in environment and possibly their reluctance to cut weight to move to a more suitable weight class. It could also be that many of them received favorable treatment from the judges in their home countries. On the other hand, Brazilian fighters (for the most part) transitioned seamlessly to the UFC, as have many European fighters. I think most oriental fighters just don’t adapt well to the US promotions and are largely overrated based on their records in Japan.

    Don’t agree? Pride initiated their titles in 2001 and besides Gomi in the Lightweight division not a single Japanese fighter ever held one. In fact, if Gomi hadn’t won the Lightweight Grand Prix and Misaki the Welterweight Grand Prix, the entire title lineage of this Japanese-based company could be recited without ever naming a Japanese fighter. I imagine that is why most Japanese fighters don’t get any respect.

  • Makington says:

    MMA-LOGIC: “Griffin, Sherk, Edgar, Maynard, Miller, are all absolutely terrible match ups for Gomi”
    Disagree here Makington he is a top wrestler and great boxer too.

    He is a great wrestler, and is actually primarily a wrestler, but the american wrestlers are a different breed. And I’m not saying UFC wrestlers, I’m saying american. Wrestling is much more popular here and most levels of wrestling take it a bit farther in North America. Also they are absolutely jacked guys who cut some pretty ridiculous amounts of weight to get to 155. I can almost guarantee if you put him against Maynard he would throw one punch, pick him up, throw him down and lay on him for 4:55. If a wrestler of that caliber who’s that big wants you down, there isn’t a whole lot you can do about it.

    Florian uses what my old sensei used to call trips and hips. He can position his hips perfectly and go for a wrestling-like trip, but he’s no wrestler. He doesn’t have the raw athleticism that many LW’s have, he’s 100% technique, which is perfect for a fight with Gomi. I think it will not only make for a much better fight, but a much more winnable fight for Gomi. I’m not saying I think he is done, but I don’t think he is as good as he was, and I really don’t like his chances against some of the larger, smothering wrestlers from over here.

    I don’t think all the best fighters have to be in the UFC, but it’s a usual rule that they end up going there. It doesn’t have all of the best, but it has most of them, and it looks better if you clean out the LW division in the UFC as opposed to the Strikeforce division.

    I really hope Gomi can win this one and win it big but I will be surprised if he does.

  • MMASwami says:

    I like the Florian fight. Hopefully it’ll motivate Gomi to come in at his absolute best. A little part of me really wanted to see him matched up with Nate Diaz first though 😉 I also read a post on the UG yesterday where S. Fisher was saying he wanted to fight Gomi first. I think that would be an awesome fight as well. Sam Stout would be another great one…. so many interesting choices. The list of stylistic match-ups in the UFC for him are endless.

  • Makington says:

    Oh man, Fisher vs Gomi would be a great fight. Gomi does deserve a higher ranked opponent I guess though but that would be quite a slugfest.

  • JAI says:

    I don’t think I want to see Gomi go against Florian in his debut. Please don’t get me wrong, Kenny Florian -vs- Takanori Gomi is a good match up, but I think I would rather see Takanori Gomi -vs- Frankie Edgar and Kenny Florian -vs- Diego Sanchez.

    Gomi -vs- Edgar: I just this match-up brings more “explosiveness” and less “chess match” to the table. These guys have similar styles as they both have really fast hands and superb boxing skills with great foot work. It would be an all out stand up war filled with great technical stiking. Edgar would probably have an edge in the wrestling department, but Gomi brings a world of experience on a championship level. This would be a tremendous fight and to “up the anti”, they could have it in New Jersey, Edgar’s home time for UFC 111.

    Florian -vs- Sanchez: This match-up gives KenFlo a chance to revenge his loss fromt he TUF1 Finale where he was utterly dominated by the Nightmare. In addition to that, it puts the last two Lightweight Title Challengers who both were stop by the champ against each other. It is a fight that would be extremely easy to sell. Not only that, but there would be tons for trash talk and good sound bites from this one….and I believe a little bad blood would develope between these two. Bottom line is, this would be an awesome scrap!!

    …then if both of these guys won those matches, you put them in against each other, with the winner possibly receiving a shot at the LW Title. That’swhat I would like to see.


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