There’s no denying that Kenny Florian has been a top fighter worthy of a title shot before now.
The former lightweight had two cracks at the belt when fighting at 155 pounds, but came up short in both efforts. Now the Boston area fighter will take a shot at the featherweight belt at UFC 136 and he couldn’t be more respectful to his upcoming opponent, champion Jose Aldo.
“I am very honored to be fighting on this card against Jose Aldo for the UFC featherweight championship on October 8th in Houston Texas,” Florian wrote in a newsletter released on Monday.
“I consider Jose Aldo one of the best fighters on the planet pound for pound. I have been a fan of Aldo since I first saw him fight live while I was doing commentary for the WEC. His explosiveness, well rounded game and experience make him the toughest challenge of my career.”
Florian’s experience at 145 pounds currently sits at one fight, a victory back in June over Aldo’s teammate Diego Nunes at UFC 131.
His career accomplishments can’t be denied, however, and Florian learned quickly how tough the featherweight division can be after getting thrown right into the lion’s den in his debut fight for the division.
The win over a top five ranked opponent vaulted Florian into title contention after only one fight.
“Fighting one of the top featherweights in the world in Diego Nunes at featherweight this past June showed me how tough this weight class truly is,” Florian said. “I have always been about taking chances and challenges throughout my career – whether it was going up in weight and fighting at 185 and 170 or fighting at 155 and 145.”
Florian’s love of a good challenge will definitely be tested at UFC 136 when he takes on one of the most dangerous and complete fighters in the sport in Jose Aldo.
After two past title shots, Florian knows that he can’t make mistakes in this third go round.
“Jose Aldo poses a threat everywhere and I will have to prepare a perfect training camp for him,” Florian stated.
“I would like to thank Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta, Zuffa, and all the fans of this sport as I prepare for yet another spectacular UFC event.”
Florian will spend his training camp at home in Boston alongside his brother and coach Keith Florian, while also making the trip north to Canada to work with Firas Zahabi and his team in Montreal.
Florian and Aldo face off with the featherweight title on the line at UFC 136 in Houston.
(UPDATED 9:30 a.m. PT on July 18, 2011, to correct the event to UFC 136)