by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com (Reporting by Damon Martin)
UFC president Dana White, at Saturday night’s UFC 108 post-fight press conference, reaffirmed his company’s signing of highly touted Japanese lightweight Takanori Gomi. Contrary to speculation earlier in the day, he also stated that they don’t yet have the former No. 1 lightweight’s first fight in the Octagon mapped out.
ESPN’s MMA Live, of which top UFC lightweight Kenny Florian is a co-host, Tweeted on Saturday that “It looks like Gomi will fight Ken-Flo in his UFC debut!”
Never one to shy away from a challenging opponent, sources close to Florian’s camp, however, told MMAWeekly.com that while Florian would welcome a fight with Gomi, it has yet to be offered.
“I don’t think we’ve really thought about who Gomi will fight yet,” said White. “We just signed him. Obviously in that weight division, there’s a lot of great guys who we can line him up with.”
Gomi agrees. Recent training at American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, Calif., the home of fighters such as Mike Swick, Cain Velasquez, Jon Fitch, and Josh Koscheck, has sparked the “Fireball Kid’s” competitive spirits. He’s not shy about saying he’s gunning for the top of the mountain… UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn.
“Starting with B.J. Penn, I feel that all the fighters are at a high level,” said Gomi.
“There’s a lot to be learned from BJ’s fighting spirit,” he added. “Obviously my only goal is to get to his level, and this will be a great challenge to me as a fighter, to see if I can remain as a top level fighter. And of course it would mean a lot of become the champion, but I’m not looking that far ahead. For me, right now, the goal is to become THE UFC fighter and to fight in front of the fans here.”