Kenny Florian Says Dana White Is ‘Dead Wrong’ About Him ‘Choking In Big Fights’

“I think that’s dead wrong. I’ve been in a lot of main events, I’ve been in a lot of different fights for the organization. I don’t think that’s the case at all. Every fight in the UFC is a big fight. The [Takanori] Gomi fight wasn’t a big fight? The [Joe] Stevenson fight wasn’t a big fight? The Lauzon fight wasn’t a big fight? They were all main events, top of the card. That really doesn’t make any sense. I was outwrestled in a match, in one fight. I had to get to the title before and those had to be big fights, beating the best fighters in the world. He’s really seeing it from one perspective… I need to get my wrestling to the point where I give the guys no option but to stand up with me. It’s an easy solution, just get your wrestling better. The guy didn’t pick me apart on my feet, he didn’t get me in a bunch of submission holds, he didn’t outposition me. He outwrestled me and that’s one thing I really need to fix… I feel like the fight was over before I knew it. I actually feel fine. I have a cut over my eye but I feel like I just trained. It’s very, very frustrating. I feel like I wasn’t even in a fight.”

—Kenny Florian, via Boston.com, responding to Dana White’s post-fight comments about him “choking in big fights”

Saying Kenny Florian “chokes in big fights” was a little harsh, but I understand what Dana meant. To me, the Kenny Florian that fought BJ Penn and Gray Maynard didn’t look like the Kenny Florian that destroyed Takanori Gomi, Clay Guida and Joe Stevenson. Maybe it was the opponents and style match-ups, maybe it was the significance of the fights or maybe it was a little bit of both. I don’t know, but Kenny keeps coming up short and he’s only going to get so many chances.

Florian tells MMA Fighting his new plan is to train “10x” more on his defensive wrestling to ensure he doesn’t lose because he can’t stuff a takedown. That’s probably a smart idea considering he’s gonna have to beat an elite wrestler at some point if he ever hopes to win a UFC title.

Image via Esther Lin for MMA Fighting. Check out her UFC 118 photo gallery at MMAFighting.com.

  • inoki

    he was just too passive in general

  • Billdo

    Dana needs to quit guaranteeing title shots. It just adds pressure, and makes guys play it safe. Let the fight happen, then decide future fights. I bet the fight goes a lot differently if they both were trying to win a title shot, as opposed to not trying to lose the one they’ve already been given.

    • Neal And Bob

      Gray wasn’t fighting safe, that’s how he always fights!

  • Chaiyoshnay

    I don’t agree with Dana White’s assessment of Florian “choking” in big fights. This was a simple “style’s make fights” situation where Maynard’s strength matched up perfectly with Florian’s weakness. It happens to the best of them. I think Kenny should try going on a strength program and to try and gain some more muscle alongside him training to stop the takedown.

  • Big D

    Who’s next for Kenny?

  • http://ufc.com aceyeager

    duh its easy. kenny vs bj rematch. makes sence.

  • http://ufc.com aceyeager

    as far as nxt contenders, evan dunham looks good. if he beats sherk he could be looking at a shot.

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