“It’s a fight that I think I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, ever since Gomi was the best over in PRIDE, so Gomi’s obviously a legend in the sport and those are the kind of guys that I want to challenge myself with. The quickest road back to the title is beating great fighters like Gomi…I see (Gomi) as a great opportunity to improve as a mixed martial artist and face one of the best fighters to ever fight as a lightweight. So for me, I’ve always had a lot of respect for the Japanese fighters and how they conduct themselves as martial artists, and obviously Gomi has accomplished a lot in the sport. To beat someone like that would be tremendous…I’m not sure what type of issues Gomi has had, whether it’s injuries or whatever, but I do know that Gomi is a very, very dangerous fighter. Whoever I face, I’m going to train harder than I ever have and smarter than I ever have. So for me, I always consider every fighter a threat, and certainly with Gomi, I consider him the ultimate threat…I would love to fight in New Jersey. It’s very close to home, and it’s a place where a lot of my fans would be able to go to. So it would be tremendous, and timing-wise, it works out excellent.”
—Kenny Florian telling MMA Junkie he hopes to challenge himself against Takanori Gomi at UFC 111
While this potential match-up is nowhere near official, there’s been so much talk about it since the Gomi news broke it would kind of be a disappointment if it didn’t happen. To be honest, Florian is probably the most intriguing opponent the UFC can give Gomi in his debut.
There’s still a lot of questions that surround Gomi after two disappointing performances in Sengoku from roughly a year ago, but this fight would go a long way in answering them. Gomi says he has rededicated himself to training and even recently trained a bit at AKA. If he manages to put himself back in peak condition, Florian will undoubtedly have his hands full.
Image via Sherdog