The 33 year old American Kenny Florian is 5ft 10in tall and weighs in at 155lb with a reach of 74 inches. He holds a record of 12-4(3ko,8sub) and has a black belt in BJJ and Genjitsu. He is also well versed in Muay Thai, training out of the Florian martial arts centre in Brookline Massachusetts. Kenny fights in the southpaw stance.
The 31 year old Japanese fighter Takanori Gomi is 5ft 8in tall and weighs in at 154lbs. He holds a record of 31-5(11ko,6sub) he is also a Class-A Shooto fighter and is well trained in wrestling and boxing. Gomi is also a southpaw fighter.
As usual my fight breakdowns are predictions of how I think the fight will go based on the fighters training histories, records (example KO or sub wins or losses and how many fights) and on how I think the styles may contrast. Please don’t bet your paycheck on what I write and feel free to comment or tweet me as I will only be posting these articles on Lowkick.com.
So on to the game plans. I think Florian will want to win this one by submission. We have seen that his stand up has improved of late but I think that against a knock out artist like Gomi, Florian will want to use his submission skills which have finished such fighters as Clay Guida, Joe Stevenson, Din Thomas and Alvin Robinson among others. I do think that Florian will have worked a lot on his stand up in the training for this fight as he is aware of how dangerous Gomi is on the feet, but I don’t expect Florian to look for a knockout.
So on to Gomi: Gomi has proven to be an explosive and dangerous striker, during his years in Pride and Sengoku”>Sengoku he has beaten such fighters as Jens Pulver, Duane Ludwig, Hayato Sakurai and Jean Silva among others. He holds 11 knockouts on his record, one of which was the fastest knockout in Pride history. It came in the form of a brutal flurry of knees after 6 seconds. I think he has a good chin having never been knocked out after being tested by some top fighters in Pride He is able to submit opponents as we know from his 6 sub victories, but we also know that he has been submitted 3 times (4 if you count the Diaz submission that was overturned) so I think Gomi will want to use his strong stand up skills.
How I think the styles may contrast is that Gomi will be the stalker keeping Florian on the back foot with his powerful stand up. I think Florian will be the ground fighter in this one looking to take Gomi down and utilize his submission skills as well as keeping Gomi from striking.
So on to the fight prediction.
Round 1. I think we will see some good foot movement from Florian. He will want to keep moving so Gomi can’t plant his feet and get a foundation for power shots. Florian, I think, will try to use a good jab in the face of Gomi but Gomi is fast and he lands with hooks to the body and head. Florian has a good chin and shakes it off while still putting his jab out there and moving well. Florian manages to grab Gomi’s leg and puts him to the canvas but Gomi is sharp and he pulls a tight guard. Florian tries to land some ground and pound but he is tied up by Gomi who moves fast off his back and soon the fight is stood up. Gomi continues to attack explosively with big hooks and Florian is backed up to the fence and in a bit of trouble as the round ends 10-9 to Gomi.
Round 2. Early on I think Gomi will take control on the feet landing good shots with knees on the inside but Kenny can land with some good rights and lefts and he is still evasive. Kenny scores a take down off a right hand from Gomi and now he is in half guard. He looks for an arm lock but Gomi shifts and pulls guard. Kenny is relentless and lands some good elbows and punches on the ground. Gomi attempts a sweep to escape but leaves himself open and Kenny has his back. Kenny works hard for the choke but Gomi resists and stays calm. Kenny is landing strikes and working to get a good choke on Gomi but his chin is down and he twists in to Florian’s guard. Now it is Gomi’s turn and he lands some heavy ground and pound. Big lefts and rights rain down and Kenny looks in trouble again he pulls Gomi’s head down but eats a big elbow as Gomi postures up and really explodes. The round ends just in time and the ref separates the two fighters. A close round but 10-9 to Kenny.
Round 3. As the two fighters come out Kenny is bruised and cut. Gomi looks the fresher of the two and in the opening exchange he rocks Kenny with a big left hand. Kenny back peddles and Gomi catches him again pushing him against the cage. Gomi lands more shots and Florian is downed, as Gomi moves in Kenny tries to grab a leg but Gomi breaks free and lands more brutal ground and pound before the ref ends the fight in favor of Gomi. Gomi to win 3rd round TKO.
Now I know a lot of people may disagree, but I am a Kenny Florian fan and he is a great fighter but after looking at the stats and histories I just don’t think he can deal with Gomi. So please don’t hate!
All comparisons and predictions are original.