by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Kenny Florian has officially been announced as the replacement for Spencer Fisher in the main event of UFC Fight Night taking place on September 19th in Las Vegas, where he will take on American Top Team member Din Thomas.
Florian joined MMAWeekly Radio just after the announcement to talk about the fight and his decision to take the fight on short notice for the opportunity to take on Thomas in a fight that could have major implications on the UFC’s lightweight division.
Florian took over for Spencer Fisher who had to drop out of the bout due to a staph infection that has spread to numerous other members of the Miletich camp where he trains.
“Unfortunately, it came here because of bad news. Its obviously good news for me, but what people forget is that Spencer Fisher is unable to fight because he has staph (infection),” said Florian. “I guess Miletich has a bad staph epidemic going on over there and it looks like a bunch of fighters are going down, so first and foremost I hope those guys stay safe and get healthy as soon as possible.
“We got a call from Joe Silva saying that it was possible that Spencer wasn’t going to be able to fight and there was a serious staph infection that he was dealing with and I wanted to step up. I talked to the team and they allowed me to do it, they’re the ones who really make the decisions at the end of the day for me, but I really wanted this fight.”
Coming off of a dominant victory at UFC 73 over Alvin Robinson, the Boston native is excited to get back in the Octagon to take on another top-notch opponent.
“I’m hungry right now. Din’s a great fighter and I want to challenge myself,” Florian stated in his interview with MMAWeekly Radio. “I’m in a different situation than I was last year before the Sherk fight. I’m actually healthy now, so these are the things that I want. I want to be healthy so I can take things like this every once in a while. It’s not something I’m going to take all the time. I want to fight the best and Din is one of the best.”
Din Thomas is currently on a three fight win streak since the end of The Ultimate Fighter season 4 in which he made his return to the UFC.
Following his fight at UFC 73, Florian made a strong statement about his immediate future in the lightweight division and his desire to work his way back into title contention.
“This is the fight I wanted to get me half way back to the title and after the Alvin Robinson fight, I wasn’t joking, I want to fight the top guys and make sure there’s no one left but me. I want to beat them all and I want to be the only contender left to fight for that title. Din’s that next step,” said Florian about the match-up with Thomas.
The match-up pits two very evenly matched fighters, both hoping to get on the fast track to a championship bout in the future. Florian feels that this will be a tough fight for both men.
“This fight is going to come down to a battle of wills,” said Florian
Kenny Florian will take on Din Thomas on September 19th in Las Vegas at UFC Fight Night from the Palms Casino & Hotel as the lead-in to the sixth season premiere of The Ultimate Fighter.