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.

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.

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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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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Welcome to the Camel Clutch Blog. The CCB was born in 2007 and features blogs from over 50 different writers. Articles from the Camel Clutch Blog have been featured by some of the world's most respected websites including; CNNSI.com, Foxsports.com, Yahoo News, Business Insider, MSNBC, NBCsports.com, and more.

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