By Damon Martin, MMAWeekly
“155lbs And Loving It!”
Kenny Florian Finally Gets To Fight At His Natural Weight When He Takes On TKO Stand-Out Sam Stout At UFC 58
By Damon Martin, MMAWeekly

When the Ultimate Fighter season one debuted, it was obvious that a few different fighters were out of their respective weight classes, but when those rare opportunities come along to gain national television exposure, its next to impossible to turn them down. That is exactly what happened to Kenny Florian making his way into the 185lb weight division when he was barely a welterweight during the show.

But Florain persevered the show being the smaller fighter and even made it to the finals Now after defeating world muay thai champion Kit Cope at the last Ultimate Fight Night show at 170lbs, Florian will finally get to fight at lightweight, which is the weight class he has been built for all along.

“There was talk of it right after the Ultimate Fighter show. That got me motivated and made me want to stick around,” said Florian about his prospects of fighting at 155lbs. “This is the weight for me and the weight I should be fighting at. It’s exciting for me because I’ll be at the weight where I belong and the weight division where I feel comfortable.”

While Florian may be a force in the lightweight division, he was fairing pretty well at welterweight where he had already defeated former housemate Alex Karalexis and the afore mentioned Kit Cope in their fight. The new challenge is just as daunting, but Florian only wants to challenge himself, no matter the weight class.

“I’m pretty confident either way, but I know a fight’s a fight and anything can happen. When going into a fight, I don’t think about winning or losing, I just perform and if I perform, everything else will take care of itself. Give a good showing for the fans and if I perform up to my potential, the win will take care of itself,” said Florian. “At 155 I think that’s more of a reality, and it’s just a matter of going out there and competing against the best and that’s what I want to do. I’m here in the UFC because I want the challenge, more than anything else. I wasn’t completely comfortable fighting at 185lbs, but I wasn’t doing it to show how I could beat people up, I wanted to fight the best.”

When Florian was fighting at 185lbs while on the Ultimate Fighter show and in his appearances in the welterweight division, he has never had to worry much about making weight before the fight, but for the first time in a while, he will have to watch what he eats, as he will have to trim down to 155lbs for his UFC 58 match-up against TKO stand out, Sam Stout.

“I’ve been cutting weight, being really strict with the diet,” commented Florain. “I’ve got a nutritionist staying with me. Making me knowledgeable about what to eat and when to eat. I’ve taken my game to a whole new level with this. If there was a weak spot in my game, that was it. I would just eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, just kind of ignorant to the whole nutrition thing, and he’s just given me a whole new outlook on it. I’m eating like a professional athlete, and I’ve seen progress with that in my skills, and I feel like a different person.”

Florian’s opponent, Sam Stout, is a very good lightweight fighter who has spent most of his career fighting out of the TKO organization in Canada. With quick and powerful hands, Stout has finished most of his fights by knockout and hasn’t tasted defeat since his first professional bout in 2003. Stout will present a very tough match-up for Florian, but with this being his first fight under the bright lights of the UFC, time will only tell how he reacts. Florian is definitely not underestimating Stout, and he knows that the Canadian can bring it for the entire fight.

“Watching the tape on Sam, he’s a tough kid. He’s taken some tough shots and comes back, kind of out cardio’s his opponent. I’ve seen him lose the first round, maybe even the second round and he just comes back, and beats the hell out of his opponents because they were tired. So you know he’s phenomenally conditioned, he’ll take a licking and keep on ticking,” said Florian about his opponent. “He’ll keep going till the end looking for that knockout, looking for the win. Any fighter with that kind of heart, you’ve got to watch out for them. Everyone talks about his hands being heavy, that he’s a good striker, a solid striker. His ground game is a little bit weaker, but I know he’s been working hard on that with Jeff Curran who is a black belt, and I think he’s going to be real ready for this fight. He’ll be ready for 15 minutes and that’s the kind of fight I like. I don’t want someone that’s going to run away from me, I want someone who’s going to bring it to me and that makes for a more exciting fight.”

This fight along with the other lightweight match-up on the card pitting Yves Edwards against Mark Hominick, could be a measuring stick for the UFC who have long been pondering the return of the 155lb division. Insiders have said it is rumored that the UFC wants to feature a few lightweight fights on the next 3 or 4 shows and then take the top two fighters and re-christen the lightweight title. Florian, who hasn’t fought at lightweight in a while, is hesitant to rank himself right now, but has every confidence that this will be his division to run.

“I’m looking to make my mark this year. I need to take care of business in the ring, and hopefully the ranking will come. I don’t want to be handed a title fight. I want people to say, ‘Kenny Florian deserves to be in the championship fight.’ My goal is to make it clear to everyone that I deserve to be there, I don’t want to be handed anything. A lot of people think I’ve had a lot handed to me just because of the show, and now I’ve fought a lot of tough guys and I want to prove that I am a #1 guy,” said Florian

Kenny Florian hopes to keep his success going strong when he fights Sam Stout at UFC 58: USA vs. Canada.