Our partners over at FightLinker.com caught up with Kenny Florian to discuss weight cutting, title shots and illegal elbows. Here it is:
Guys want to make themselves feel better and sometimes it can be hard and sometimes you search for those things to make you feel better. When I look back at my losses, each one the other fighters was better than night and they beat me. We both go through the same rules, the same camp, the same injuries and it’s up to the guys who get into the cage to fight and make it happen.
After your last fight Dana said you were ‘probably’ next in line for a featherweight title shot. I know Jose Aldo said he’s preparing as if you’re next. Are you preparing as if Aldo is next for you?
I hope so. That’s what’s in my mind. That is who I picture my next fight against. I hope that’s the next fight as he is a great champion and a huge challenge for me. Biggest of my career and I hope that’s the fight they put together.
Mark Hominick said during an interview with us that he ‘feels bad for Chad Mendes, since he is truly deserving of the title shot.’ What do you think about the Chad Mendes situation and the situation of the entire 145 lbs division.
Chad had his opportunity to face Aldo and he decided to take a fight before that. As a fighter, I don’t make the fights. I’m not taking fights from anyone. I go in and fight when I’m asked against the guy they put in there. Marketing wise, it’s a better fight. Mendes will reap the rewards from waiting and winning as well, as more people will know who he is. In this sport it’s one thing to win fights and another to sell fights. He is an excellent fighter and after he fights Rani Yahya and if he wins, he will be the next one anyway. I had to fight 6 fights at 155 pounds before I got a shot. Sometimes it is early for a fighter and sometimes it is late. I don’t even know if I’m the next guy yet.
To clarify, what fight did Mendes decide to take over Aldo?
Mendes and Aldo were scheduled to fight in Philly. Aldo wanted more time and wanted to wait a couple of months and he was given more time to prepare. Instead of waiting for him, Mendes wanted to fight so they scheduled him a fight vs Rani Yahya.
With the opportunities out there for you in broadcasting do you think it could play a factor in when you decide to end your fighting career? or is it another one of those “As long as my body holds up / I still have the passion” things?
Oh yeah. I still go on passion. I don’t have to fight at this point. I have the gym. I have the ESPN job. As long as my body is feeling good I will continue to fight, because it’s what I love.
Does it annoy you when people accuse you of dropping down in weight classes just to get more title shots?
It does yeah. People don’t use common sense when they think about this and the history of the sport. I had an opportunity to be on The Ultimate Fighter at middleweight despite being a chubby 175 pounder. I was never even 180 pounds when I fought on the show. People keep saying you keep dropping down, but I was never 185 or even 170. The other reason I fought at welterweight was because the UFC didn’t even have a 155 pound weight class. Dana brought me into the office on the show and said ‘You’re a 155 pound fighter – as soon as we have it, that’s where you will be fighting.’
How’s the academy going? I’ve got a friend who’s looking to get in shape out in MA. Is your academy the place to go or is it designed more with the fighter in mind?
Well, I’m the only pro fighter at the gym. (laughs). Florian Martial Arts is going very well. Our gym is mostly for people looking to get into shape, defend themselves and learn about martial arts. We have guys that are competing in jiu jitsu. So it’s a gym for every level. If we had more pro fighters, we would accommodate that for sure. I’m in the gym every single day training. Mostly training and some teaching.
Now for some rapid fire questions: Toughest opponent?
BJ Penn I would say. Most skilled for sure.
Favourite fight you were in?
I hate all my fights. No favorite. (laughs)
Favourite fight you were not in?
So many great fights to choose from. Pat Berry vs Cheick Kongo maybe. That fight was insane. That is the one that is most fresh in my mind, so I’ll go with that.
Any last words?