by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
Kenny Florian has stumbled in the three biggest fights of his career – two title shots and the finals of the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter – but he didn’t falter at UFC 107 on Saturday night.
Before a raucous crowd in Memphis, Florian showed that his move away from longtime trainer Mark DellaGrotte to Firas Zahabi and Peter Welch was a good way for him to shake up his game.
“I’ve been working hard on sharpening my boxing,” he said, just minutes after choking out a crimson faced Clay Guida.
He finished with a rear naked choke, but it was Florian’s improved boxing that set the tone. From the onset, he established his jab and picked away at Guida, defending several takedowns. Florian opened a deep gash in Guida’s scalp near the end of round one, courtesy of some vicious elbows, but it really was his boxing that made things happen.
A left-right combo from the southpaw struck like lightening about two minutes into the second round, dropping Guida to the mat. Florian quickly followed, unleashing a few more strikes, but made a surprising move to Guida’s back. He sunk in the rear naked choke, Guida immediately tapping out.
“Tonight was my night. Clay Guida’s a phenomenal fighter. I wanted to go out there and take my time,” said Florian following seven minutes and 19 seconds of blistering action.
“Tonight was my night, that’s it.”