Let me preface all of this with an admission – I have a gambling problem.

I will bet on just about anything that can remotely be considered a sport and any angle of that competition. I was down a grand by the time the anthem was over at the Super Bowl and I have an open bet with anyone that a bengal tiger would beat a giraffe in the Ultimate Animal Fight Championship (UAFC) that I hope to launch some day in the less legally reststrictive confines of Uzbekistan.

All of this led me to my current dilemma. Florian or Penn?

Florian vs. Penn

There are a lot of factors that go in to this one that are above and beyond the usual technical, track record and physical fitness of the two combatants.

Straight up I like Florian. Perhaps not the consensus opinion at this stage on this one but let’s looks at some of the less obvious factors that have weighed my decision in his favour:

Nickname. There are arguments that a nickname should instil fear in your opponent as well as be a good introduction to the ladies at the after party (hence the challenges Clay “The Carpenter” Guida faces in that category). I don’t buy in to it and in fact I’m of the opinion that a simple straightforward nickname tells you a lot about the fighter – confident even without a cool nickname. KenFlo over the overzealous Prodigy

Place of Birth. Everyone wants to vacation in Hawaii over Boston. That’s a given – but where would you work harder day in and day out. I’ve got to give the edge to Boston. It gets cold in Boston – hit the gym to warm up. Simple.

Motivation. Penn’s motivation is to show that the GSP loss does not define who he is in the UFC. He took a gamble, went up in weight and took on perhaps the pound for pound best in the UFC at arguably his peak. But does BJ Penn really get much out of a Florian win? Not really. It’s not avenging any previous loss or shocking the world and we are talking about a guy who notoriously has a hard time putting everything in to his training for even the toughest of opponents. Now Florian on the other hand, this is it. Every day he wakes up it will be “BJ Penn, BJ Penn, BJ Penn”. He wants the belt, he wants the respect, he needs this win. Edge Florian.

Kenny Florian is even better than his dominating wins over Joe Stevenson and Roger Huerta would indicate. He’s on the rise and this will be the defining moment of his career – I’ve got my money on it.

Come train with Kenny Florian and his Strength & Conditioning Coach Kevin Kearns March 22nd at Xtreme Couture in Toronto. Sign up at www.crashmma.com.