Kenny Florian continued on his trek back torward the UFC lightweight championship with a convincing third round rear naked choke submission victory over former PRIDE lightweight champ Takanori Gomi during the main event of “UFC Fight Night 21: Florian vs. Gomi“.
The card took place this evening from the Bojangles Coleseum in Charlotte, North Carolina while airing live on Spike TV.
While Gomi had brief flares of activity with heavy punches to Florian’s ribs and chin, it was Ken-Flo that dictated the pace of the bout with a crisp jab and well timd counter-punching. After being jarred with a nasty 1-2 from Gomi in the third, Florian chose to level the playing field by depositing Gomi directly onto the canvas with a well placed takedown before sinking in the fight ending rear naked choke to seal the deal.
The victory was the second in a row for Florian since coming up short against UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn during a UFC 101 title bid, while “The Fireball Kid” drops the first bout in his last three, coming off of a two fight win streak prior to this evening’s defeat.
Roy Nelson went right through Stefan Struve like a Whopper Jr. in the co-headliner of the evening, as the TUF 10 champion stalked down his vertically advantaged – or disadvantaged depending on your take – opponent from the opening bell before a well placed right hand sent the “Skyscraper” crashing to the octagon canvas in a defenseless heap just :39 seconds into the mauling.
Also looking impressive at “UFC Fight Night 21″ was Jorge Rivera, who put up what could be considered a “career best” performance against Nate Quarry. “The Conquistador” utilized a powerful straight right hand to keep Quarry off balance throughout the opening round before an explosive combination of “pickaxes” from Rivera brought a conclusion to the thrashing in the opening moments of round two.
A full list of results from the event is below:
Kenny Florian def. Takanori Gomi via submission (rear-naked choke) Round 1
Roy Nelson def. Stefan Struve via KO (strikes) – Round 1
Jorge Rivera def. Nate Quarry via TKO (strikes) – Round 2
Ross Pearson def. Dennis Siver (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Andre Winner def. Rafaello Oliveira via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Jacob Volkmann def. Ronys Torres via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 30-27)
Nik Lentz def. Rob Emerson via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
Gleison Tibau def. Caol Uno via TKO (punches) – Round 1
Yushin Okami def. Lucio Linhares via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 2
Gerald Harris def. Mario Miranda via TKO (punches) – Round 1
Charlie Brenneman def. Jason High via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)