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UFC Fight Night 21 and TUF 11 Recap & Thoughts

Kenny FlorianThe UFC Fight Night 21 main-event between Kenny Florian vs. Takanori Gomi wasn’t the blazing brawl I expected, but sure delivered an exciting match. Roy Nelson continues on his path to becoming the most successful TUF alumni in history. Is it too soon to start talking Brock Lesnar vs. Roy Nelson?

The big story coming out of UFC Fight Night 21 was the dismantling of Takanori Gomi by Kenny Florian. The former TUF 1 cast member just dominated the former Pride FC champion and put on a clinic. Florian had Gomi’s punches perfectly timed and picked him apart with jabs in the first two rounds. The Fireball Kid barely had a flame at all and looked frustrated by the middle of the fight. Florian eventually tapped out Gomi with a choke in the third round to end what was practically a flawless fight for KenFlo.

[adinserter block=”1″]Takanori Gomi looked nothing like the dynamic fighter he used to be in Pride FC. For weeks, The UFC spotlighted Gomi on The Best of Pride with highlights and knockouts. It was obvious from the start that the UFC had huge plans for Gomi. Gomi is yet another example of a decorated former Pride FC fighter that struggled in the UFC on his first fight. Mirko Cro Cop and Shogun Rua are prime examples of former Pride FC fighters who also struggled in their early UFC fights. Rampage Jackson, Wanderlei Silva, and Dan Henderson had easier transitions, however all three of those fighters had fought in the UFC and the octagon cage years prior in their careers.

Kenny Florian’s win really puts Dana White in quite a predicament. I don’t think there is anyone in the MMA world that is clamoring to see a Kenny Florian vs. B.J. Penn rematch. Florian blew that with his ridiculous game plan in the first fight. However, decisive wins over Gomi and Clay Guida have to put Florian right back into consideration for a title shot. I would imagine that the long awaited Diego Sanchez vs. Kenny Florian rematch is probably next. Should Kenny Florian beat Sanchez, I can’t see any wiggle room out of another title shot against the B.J. Penn vs. Frankie Edgar winner.

Let me put out there, I can’t stand Kenny Florian. I think he has a big mouth and really hadn’t done a whole lot in the UFC to back it up. I found it almost comical that for a guy who brags about how “he finishes fights,” he did absolutely nothing to engage B.J. Penn in the biggest fight of his life. That said, his victory over Takanori Gomi was super impressive. Giving credit where credit is due, Kenny Florian showed up huge at UFC Fight Night 21.

The other big news of the night was the show that The Ultimate Fighter 10 winner Roy Nelson put on. The former IFL heavyweight champion knocked out 6′ 11” Stefan Struve in 0:39 seconds. Struve is no pushover with 19 MMA wins coming into the fight. Roy Nelson proved two things to me. One, I was right! I called Roy Nelson a ringer from the start during The Ultimate Fighter 10 season. Folks, he was a ringer. Second, Roy Nelson is on his way to becoming one of the most popular fighters in all of MMA. Nelson jokingly called out James Toney after the fight. The joke would be on James Toney if Dana White ever made that fight.

[adinserter block=”2″]I don’t think it is too early to start talking about a Brock Lesnar vs. Roy Nelson fight. Now keep in mind that there are about three other heavyweights ahead of Nelson right now that deserve a UFC heavyweight title shot, so he is about three wins away I would think from that becoming a reality. Nelson would have to beat a guy like Frank Mir or Minotauro Nogueira before the talk becomes a reality. However, should Nelson continue to roll up wins like the ones he has in the UFC, a Brock Lesnar vs. Roy Nelson fight could be huge. I can’t even fathom Lesnar losing, but what if Lesnar feels the same way? I think what makes Roy Nelson so dangerous is that some of the top tier heavyweights may take him lightly. Nelson has too much punching power to be taken lightly. All it takes is one and that one punch could shock the world.

Finally, I just want to say a quick word about the premiere of The Ultimate Fighter season 11. I haven’t been more bored watching a premiere of The Ultimate Fighter in my life. I understand the idea is to give fans more fights, but I just got done watching three fights with UFC stars. The last thing I want to do is watch an hour of UFC preliminary preliminaries. I would have enjoyed the show slightly more if it didn’t follow a live card. What I like most about The Ultimate Fighter are the personalities. Once the fighters have an identity, I don’t mind watching them fight. But to sit there and watch an hour of fights with guys that probably aren’t good enough to get on a Strikeforce show just bored me to death.

I was also really disappointed with the Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz dynamic. On the first show all we get is listening to the two doing commentary? This is Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz! Give me something for goodness sakes. Granted, the coming attractions looked pretty good but I was so bored by the end of the first episode that I don’t know how many other people stuck around to watch the season preview. Not too mention how many more seasons are we supposed to find a coach breaking a door to be dramatic or climatic? I really don’t get it quite honestly. Two of the most dynamic personalities in all of sports are sitting at a table doing commentary for an hour and that is supposed to grab me for a season?

Thus far, this show is a far cry from the fun of The Ultimate Fighter 10 and has a long way to go if they expect TUF 10 ratings.

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  1. sh!t.. some of them prelim matches last night in the TUF 11 season opener were betrter than any fight ALL of last season.. so as far as fighters go im juiced to see these fools match up through-out this season.. and you could obviously see the disdain these coaches have for eachother especially with the little jabs Liddell put out there about Ortiz tapping to strikes.. and with the season sneak peek preview you see the sh!t gets off the chains between these 2.. no love lost between these 2 and i'd much rather watch Liddell and Ortiz mess with eachothers heads than all the b!tch sh!t between Jackson and Evans last season.. might have the big draws like Kimbo Slice or Big Country Nelson and all the NFL stuff like last season but just from what i saw last night it already looks like alot better fights and fighters and better coaches and better drama with them this season on TUF 11

  2. I agree with everything, Eric.

    KenFlo looked flawless and, like the welterweight and middleweight divisions, he seems to be lost in a division where the champion is just so dominate and has essentially cleaned through the entire division. Where do any of the guys in these 3 divisions go? It's almost to the point where Bj, GSP, and Spider all are forced to move up a division just to make new matches.

    Sorry for spoiling the Nelson fight for you yesterday. That was a sick knockout in what I thought would be the toughest task yet for Nelson. I don't know about you, but I couldn't help but laugh at the simple site of the 2 in the ring together. It was just a hilarious visual.

    And TUF was so painfully boring that I don't even know if I'll be able to sit through it this season. I've watched 2 seasons of this show ever; the first one and season 10. Let's hope that next week's show is a bit better now that all of the chaos is out of the way. Oh, and if the UFC plans on definitely putting on Chuck/Tito 3 (if it even happens with all these rumors flying around), they're going to have to have some bad blood or animosity start between the two soon. Their playful commentary, giving eachother high fives, and laughing and smiling with one another after matches was far from encouraging me to want to pay to see these apparent "great friends" square off in the octagon.


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