Choke Artist? Kenny Florian Ready to Prove Everybody Wrong

October 4, 2011
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Kenny Florian

Kenny Florian

“Kenny is just one of those guys who chokes in big fights.”

That was what UFC featherweight Kenny Florian had to hear from his boss, UFC president Dana White, following his loss to Gray Maynard last August with a shot at the UFC lightweight title on the line.

Florian came up short in the No. 1 contender’s bout, which would have earned him his third shot at the 155-pound title in the UFC. The first two bouts ended with Florian losing a decision to Sean Sherk, and being submitted by B.J. Penn.

So with that dooming statement from White hanging over his head, how does Florian feel about his chances coming into his upcoming title fight with Jose Aldo at UFC 136?

“In an odd way, it’s those mistakes that I’ve made in my career both during the fight, in preparation for the fight, that has given me a different kind of calmness, a different kind of confidence that I didn’t have before,” Florian told MMAWeekly Radio.

People have continued to criticize Florian for his performances in those big fights, so it certainly serves as motivation for the 35-year-old Bostonian.

He’s also taking it as a chance to let the pressure valve off a little bit heading into this fight. Instead of expecting such big things to happen when he faces Aldo on Saturday night, Florian just wants to go in there and fight his fight and if that happens, he’s confident the results will be a victory.

“In many ways it makes me feel like I’ve got nothing to lose. A lot of people writing me off, saying I’m a choke artist, this and that, this is my third opportunity, I feel I have nothing to lose,” said Florian.

“It feels like it’s my time. You never know with fighting how things are going to turn out. I try not to worry about that, I worry about the things that I can control. That’s my training and getting better, and preparing properly.”

According to Florian, his training is better than it’s ever been before. Besides training at his own gym in Boston, Florian has spent much of his fight camp in Montreal working with coach Firas Zahabi and fighters like UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.

“The team that I have around me now, the coaches, the work load that I’m able to carry now as a fighter, as an athlete, as a martial artist is unlike anything I’ve done in the past. That gives me a whole new different kind of confidence. A whole new different outlook heading into this fight,” Florian stated.

Obviously the pressure is still on because with a loss, the same old things will be said about Florian, but he’s not listening to the negative commentary. Florian is staying positive and focused on winning on Saturday night and taking home his first UFC title.

“Hopefully, third time’s the charm,” Florian said. “Third time was a charm for B.J. Penn, and some other great fighters out there.

“Hopefully, it will be the same for me.”

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  • camthemusicman

    Good luck to both fighters, but i honstly cant see florian beating aldo

    • emoney911

      kenflo has 0 chance in this fight he barley went by nunes and aldo is too quick and gifted and trains with the best of the best in the world the only person at 145 with a fair shot at aldo is mendes

    • Kenny Florian is a Choke Artist 😛

  • I can’t see Florian winning either. Aldo is too athletic and a real fighter. I admire Kenny, but I have to say I don’t like the fact that he has jumped from 185 through 145 weight divisions. I think it’s lame. People give it a nice, positive spin, but to me, it is just a guy who can’t beat fighters his own weight and had to continue to drop to lighter divisions in order to win. A good fighter will fight anyone and will beat anyone. Kenny lost to Diego on TUF 1, he lost to Sherk and to Penn. Then, he talks about finishing fights and how he is a great fighter. Whatever!! He is smart and has some skills, but he is not a great fighter. Anyone who can have the time to train like that and have access to what Kenny has had in his life would be able to be at that level too. It’s easy when your streets have been paved with gold. I admire Aldo more who is a true fighter, from the rough streets of Brazil and who struggled through financial hardship and was basically homeless, then became one of the top fighters in the world!! That’s a true champion!!!

    • phrankthetank

      The only reason florian was at 185 was to get on TUF, after TUF, the only reason he was at 170 is because there was no lightweight division at that point. As for going to 145, he lost 2 title fights at 155, had to do something I guess. I too like Aldo in this fight, the kid is a beast!

    • BigGuy

      I couldn’t agree more with you. Florian, even with all of his advantages in life, is never going to be a champ in the UFC. Jumping weight classes like he has just proves he is looking for a division to win anything in. Why Dana is all on his nuts is beyond me too!

  • BigGuy

    I don’t think he is a choke artist at all. He just doesn’t have what it takes to get to be a champion. There is a huge difference between choking and just not being able to beat the best of the best.

    I said it before, and I will say it again: Florian will never hold a belt in the UFC!

    Maybe Kenny can get a full time job with ESPN as an MMA analyst. He certainly draws attention to himself with those ridiculous skin-tight suits he wears.

    • kneedleskane

      yep im with you on that.

  • AnthonyJohnXXX

    I dont understand how Kenny is supposed to be such a huge dog in this fight, Jose Aldo’s biggest wins were against Urijah Faber and Mike Brown.

    Kenny on the other hand, has been in there with:

    BJ Penn
    Takanori Gomi
    Clay Guida
    Gray Maynard
    Joe Stevenson
    Sean Sherk
    Roger Huerta
    Joe Lauzon
    Drew Ficket
    Diego Sanchez
    Chris Leben
    Diego Nunes(who beat mike brown, one of aldos big wins)
    Din Thomas
    Sam Stout

    I dont really get the hype, but I guess we’ll see on saturday! 🙂

    • Danjitsu

      I don’t know if I’d call Aldo hype, the names at 145 are just starting to get recognition and Aldo has dominated that weight class and looked incredible doing it.

      That is indeed a very impressive list (even though he lost the 4 biggest fights), and Kenny deserves the shot and much respect for his career, however I am still looking for Aldo to win this fight convincingly. I just hope Florian performs well and shed’s the unfair “choker” tag.

  • AnthonyJohnXXX

    Yeah, he may have lost but he went 4 rounds with BJ Penn in his prime, 5 rounds with Sherk in his prime, and absolutely destroyed Clay Guida and Joe Stevenson at their best. Im not saying hes going to win for sure but I think he has a better chance then people are saying.

  • BigGuy

    I just heard a report claiming that if Kenny Florian loses to Aldo, he is eyeing the 85lb. weight class where he thinks he will be able to capture the MMA midget title. Details to follow…

    • kneedleskane

      LOL good one!!

  • kneedleskane

    Prove Everybody Wrong?? WTF?? His a OK fighter but no champion.. Just fight for yourself and forget what people think.