UFC president Dana White has never been one to bite his tongue, and he certainly wasn’t in the mood to start following Kenny Florian’s convincing loss to Gray Maynard in a lightweight top contender match at UFC 118. While the brash promoter accused the Bostonian of choking in front of his hometown crowd this past Saturday, Florian couldn’t disagree more.
“I don’t think that really makes any sense,” Florian told The Boston Herald. “For me, it’s someone who is just looking at the big picture and not looking at the actual fight game. It’s someone who isn’t actually that familiar with the full technique of the game. I didn’t crumble. I was outwrestled. Gray fought a smarter fight. That was it.
“I didn’t freeze at all. I felt fine. I felt relaxed. The guy was a better wrestler than me, that’s it. He controlled me very well on the ground, he pinned me up against the fence. I don’t understand where this mental block is coming from.”
KenFlo owns a respectable 13-5 professional record and is 11-4 for the world’s premier mixed martial arts promotion. If the Brazilian jiu jitsu specialist believes White’s shots are unfounded, here’s the ammo that he’s firing with:
The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale: 1stRound TKO loss to Diego Sanchez for six-figure UFC contract.
UFC 64: Unanimous Decision loss to Sean Sherk for lightweight title.
UFC 101: 4thRound Submission loss to BJ Penn for 155-pound belt.
UFC 118: Unanimous Decision loss to Maynard for top contender spot.
Numbers never lie, do they Kenny?
“Every fight in the UFC is big. I’ve been in several main events for the UFC, which I’ve won,” Florian said in his defense. “It’s easy to ignore the good and highlight the bad. I think, looking at the big picture, it doesn’t make sense. You have to look at the technical fight game, and I’m not sure Dana does that all the time.”
Considering he’s hit the tender age of 34 and has a cushy gig on ESPN’s MMA Live available in his back pocket, the classy lightweight is closer towards the end of his career than the beginning. While he’s not sure exactly when he’ll call it a career, he does know that it’s all or nothing if he remains.
“You feel like you let so many people down. You feel like you let a city down. You feel like you let your family and friends and fans down. That’s probably what hurts the most,” Florian stated. “I don’t want to just be another fighter. If I’m going to continue doing this like this, I have to try to be the best.
“It just comes down to how much longer I can do this, how much of an investment I can put into this without losing money for every fight. I need to make sure the juice is worth the squeeze.”