Although not official just yet, it has been speculated by fans and Dana White alike – that the possibilities for a Gomi VS Florian match-up to welcome the newly signed UFC fighter from Japan, is definitely a viable option. Takanori Gomi is a former champion from the now defunct Pride Fighting Championships promotion, as well as a former Shooto champion. With a 31-5 MMA record he is a definite force to be reckoned with in the UFC, Gomi has already beaten the likes of popular fighters like Jens Pulver (pictured left), Tatsuya Kawajiri, Hayato Sakurai, and Mitsuhiro Ishida.
However, his last PRIDE appearance was a shock – via a Gogoplata submission loss to Nick Diaz in February ’07, and he then went 2-2 in under the Sengoku promotion, losing matches to Sergey Golyaev and Satoru Kitoka. Though Gomi has won his last two bouts, he hasn’t been facing the kind of top-level competition that he regularly faced off with during his Pride fighting days.
I still think Gomi is a very dangerous fighter and presents a very unique challenge to Kenny Florian. Gomi has great stand up and a solid chin as does Florian, so on the feet it will be a very strategic chess match of timing and accuracy. On the ground I feel it would be a bit more of a clash of styles, Kenny is a monster inside his opponents guard with his razor elbows, a cut is sure to split Gomi’s face at some point in the fight, and you can’t forget Florians’ solid Jiu Jitsu. However, Gomi being a wrestler, he is also very comfortable on the ground and also has great ground and pound skills and is very versed in submission techniques as well. I think the ground is where the fight will be decided and the outcome could swing either way.
This fight would be an amazing fight for Florian to push him closer to gaining title contention again with BJ Penn, and would also be an awesome debut fight for Gomi, who also suffered a loss to BJ Penn. It is very hard for me to call a clear cut winner here, I am a fan of both fighters however, I think Florian would edge out Gomi’s ground game with his Jiu Jitsu and elbow striking, and I also think Gomi would have a tough time dealing with Florian’s strategic striking and Muay Thai clinch game.
I really hope this fight goes down, it would be an exciting bout. For those of you who have no clue who Gomi is or what he is about, check out the video clips below to see Gomi in action – then you’ll see what I mean. Also you should check out our brief bio article on Takanori Gomi here for more details on this fighter.
Takanori ”The Fireball Kid” Gomi, Highlights:
and some more highlights: