Kenny Florian showed again Wed. night why many consider him the second best lightweight fighter in the world.
Florian defeated MMA legend Takanori Gomi in dominant fashion at Ultimate Fight Night 21. After picking apart Gomi with punches and kicks for two rounds, the 33-year-old ended the fight by submitting the Japanese star with a rear naked choke.
KenFlo has ended his last three wins all by rear naked chokes, showing the best BJJ in the lightweight division next to champion BJ Penn. In fact, Florian continues to show that although he may not be at Penn's level, he is on a different level from the rest of the division.
Even though Florian is deserving of another shot against Penn, he may not get it quite yet.
Some feel that Florian should matchup next against the undefeated Gray Maynard. With respect to Maynard, he is a good fighter, but he's not on the same level as Florian.
Maynard has won his last six fights by decision, with the two most recent ones being split decision. He has only finished two fights in his career, compared to the 12 fights Florian has finished.
The level of competition Florian has beaten is on a completely different level compared to Maynard.
Florian holds wins over Gomi, Clay Guida, Joe Stevenson, and Roger Huerta. The only fight that he didn't finish was against Huerta, in which he won in an unanimous decision.
Maynard does have a win over current No. 1 contender Frankie Edgar, but that fight was two years ago. His two most recent wins over Huerta and Nate Diaz may look good on his resume, but they were both split decisions.
Few give Edgar a shot at beating Penn in their upcoming fight. If there is a monumental upset, Florian would likely get the first title shot.
Even if Penn does what is expected and finish Edgar, Florian deserves a rematch with the champion. He has defeated every top contender in the division.
A rematch very well could be a repeat of their first fight in which Penn submitted Florian, but that shouldn't matter in the decision-making for White and the rest of the UFC brass.
Kenny Florian is at the top of his division and poised for another shot with Penn. It's a fight fans want to see and deserve to see. There's no reason not to make the fight happen, and it should be booked for later this summer.
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