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Ken Florian vs. Evan Dunham rumored for Superbowl Weekend

An already-stacked event looks to have gotten even more top-heavy, as highly ranked lightweights Ken Florian and Evan Dunham will clash inside the Octagon at UFC 127 on February 5th. News of the pairing came from Florian himself during a recent broadcast of ESPN’s “MMA Live”, a show he serves as co-host of. Florian and Dunham will both be looking to bounce back from very-different decision losses at the event.

Florian is 8-2 in his previous ten fights with his most recent outing resulting in a decision loss to current title-contender Gray Maynard. Prior to the less-than-spectacular showing against Maynard, the Ultimate Fighter Season 1 Finalist had finished two consecutive opponents via Rear-Naked Choke (Takanori Gomi and Clay Guida).

His opponent, Dunham, was also outpointed the last time he appeared in the ring but, unlike Florian, was believed be many, including UFC President Dana White, to have been deserving of the victory based on his performance against former divisional champ Sean Sherk last month at UFC 119. The defeat was the first of Dunham’s twelve-fight career.

In addition to Florian vs. Dunham, UFC 127 is already rumored to be featuring Rich Franklin taking on Forrest Griffin, Jon Jones and Ryan Bader competing for a shot at the 205-pound title, and middleweight champ Anderson Silva defending his belt against Vitor Belfort card’s in the main event.

(UPDATE: Florian took to his Twitter account and stated he may have spoken too soon, as Dunham is not confirmed as his opponent and there are still a few other options.)

17 COMMENTS
  • Creature says:

    Kenflo vs Dunham.. im 99% sure this is gonna be an all out war.. even with how stacked this card is i think its very possible 2 be FOTN or even FOTY, even tho i greatly respect florian’s skill, im gonna go with dunham with the win, but not even gonna try and predict how

  • JOEgun says:

    excellent fight! im picking Dunham

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I think Kenny is in for 2 loses in a row, but dont be surprised to see Kenny go for takedowns all night long.

  • BiG BaD BuLL says:

    am I the only one that is questioning how this fight (rankings wise) even makes sense?Florian loses the number one contender’s spot, duhnam “loses” to a mid tier Sherk…they shouldn’t even be near each other….so Dana and Joe reward Duhnam’s loss with a massive jump up the rankings/ competition?

  • Creature says:

    well i wouldnt consider sherk mid tier.. and besides that dana and many other thought dunham won that fight anyway so he kinda is deserving u think, hes got mad talent and skill

  • Creature says:

    kinda is deserving I think*

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Yeah Dunham deserves a shot at the top gatekeeper for sure and Kenny is that guy. If Dunham wins he probably gets a #1 contender shot vs Sotiriopolis

  • Jak says:

    I didn’t get to watch Sherk/Dunham live, watched it a few days later, and while i thought Dunham was definitely pouring it on in the 2nd half of the fight, i really didn’t see it as the robbery everyone claimed.

    I really like this match if Florian shows up, if the Florian that suddenly gets timid shows up, then it might not be the barn burner it looks like on paper.

  • time to see what young evan is made of….this could be really good.

  • Dufresne says:

    I know Sherk has been kinda off the radar since he popped for PEDs after the Franca fight, but there’s just no way I can take him out of the top-tier of the LW division. Yeah he’s 2-2 in his last 4, but those two losses are the only ones in his entire LW career. And both were against guys who were either holding the belt or about to.

    I personally think Evan won that fight, but when you start out slow and give up round 1 you leave the door open for a Split Decision like that. If Evan starts out in the same form that he ended round 3, Florian will have his hands full.

    The same can be said about Florian as well. If the Florian that picked apart Gomi and Guida with solid footwork and a beautiful jab shows up, Evan is gonna have a hell of a time getting the win. But if Florian shows up with that almost completely passive guard and no movement like he did against Maynard, I don’t see him getting it.

    I personally think Evan is the next version of Kenny Florian: long, tall, great ground game and quickly developing hands. My only question is whether Evan has evolved to the point that his skills will not only match up with Florian’s, but be enough to overcome Florian’s veteran knowledge and craftiness.

    Hopefully they’ll both show up at 100% and we’ll get treated to an amazing display of skills.

  • danw84 says:

    This is the best card ever. I’m pumped for all 4 main card fights so far.

  • twyg says:

    This is already a stacked card and there is one more main event fight left. If the winner of brock/cain doesn’t suffer an injury or pop positive you could put a heavyweight title fight on this card. The timing seems about right, and for as good as silva is he isn’t a huge ppv draw. Put the big boys on as the headlining fight and this becomes the card of the year no doubt.

  • Rich S. says:

    The fact that these guys are even possibly scheduled to fight is a testament to the UFC’s thoughts on Dunham’s split decision loss.

    Yes, Florian is coming off a loss to Maynard, but that hardly means anything when you consider the fact that Maynard still hasn’t lost to anyone in the UFC, and it’s only Florian’s second loss in three years.

    Basically, if Evan had won the Sherk fight, this fight would make perfect sense. And, practically, he did.

    Tough fight for both guys. I would say it’s tougher for Florian because Evan has probably gotten used to the “underdog” title, and I’m sure he embraces it. We’ll see, but it’s always hard for me to pick against Kenny.

  • GIKE MOLDBERG says:

    I gotta go with Dunham by exciting decision-I think this has all the makings of a classic matchup

  • Angry Mike says:

    Florian looked small and timid against Maynard. Dunham had a bad first round and then came on strong against Sherk. I think he’s big enough to bully Florian, and his confidence has to be pretty high after the pounding he gave Sherk, especially in the third round. Shoulda won the decision, imo, but that’s a different story.

  • mu_shin says:

    Personally, I liked Sherk in the Dunham fight, but Evan did a bang-up job, and is deserving of recognition for the incredible effort. Look at the photo above- the kid is bleeding and yet he’s ecstatic at the same time, smiling like he’s on top of the world…

    Kenny Florian has been a great MMA story, improving as he’s continued competing, and making a lot of people sit up and take notice without extravagant natural gifts like some of his opponents. I don’t see it as an insult at all to call Florian the gate keeper, as he’s a high level fighter with well rounded skills, razor elbows and tons of determination. Having lost to BJ Penn and Maynard, Kenny may never wear the belt, but he’s going to make anyone he faces in the ring earn their money.

    At this juncture, I see Evan Dunham in the ascendant position going into this contest. He’s 12-1, with no glaring weak spots in his game, and his only loss was a razor thin decision to a former lightweight world champion. If Kenny cuts him, he’s already proven he won’t lose his composure at the sight of a little blood, and from what I saw against Sherk, I think Evan might enjoy a slight power advantage in the striking game. This could be a real strategy contest, where game plan and execution will carry the day, but I can’t help but feel that an up and coming, possibly stronger and just as well rounded Evan Dunham could ride the wave of momentum to a top contender’s spot in the lightweight division.

  • Dunham is younger, as technical but more aggressive and stronger. I’m going with dunham in this one too.

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