“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.