(Who’s the tough guy? PicProps: Fight! Magazine)
File this under Least Surprising News of the Week: In the wake of getting thoroughly outwrestled by Gray Maynard at UFC 118 last month, Kenny Florian is vowing to make some wholesale changes in his training. Florian says he’s hired a wrestling coach from Boston University to help him with his grappling, so that he won’t get held down en route to a unanimous decision loss again anytime soon.
And frankly, this is a good example of yet another reason why KenFlo is one of the more likable fighters in all of MMA. Rather than taking the Dan Hardy approach — where you respond to your team’s multiple wrestling-based losses by publishing a screed in the local newspaper where you insist that (and, yes, this is an exact quote): “The problem is there’s beginning to be too much wrestling in the UFC Octagon, not too little of it in the (Team Roughouse) gym,” – Florian is opting to actually do something about it, trying to get better and keeping his dream of one day holding a UFC title alive.
“I kind of feel like this was one of the most frustrating losses that I’ve ever had and it was a fight I definitely learned a lot from,” he tells Sherdog.com. “I’m very motivated and I had to come back to training quickly. I’ve already started training and did a hard conditioning session (Tuesday). I’m just motivated to work very hard and get right back into it.”
Florian’s new wrestling instructor is Sean Gray, who Google tells us is a former two-time All-American at Virginia Tech entering his sixth season as an assistant for the Terriers. He graduated in 2003, but still holds the Hokies’ all-time marks in a number of statistical categories including wins (133-19), winning percentage (.850), pins (45) and pins in a single season (15). So, yeah, seems like he knows his shit.
Florian says he’s looking to March(ish) 2011 for a possible return to the Octagon. Until, then it’ll be full speed ahead with training. Names abound for a possible next opponent, including up-and-coming ground whiz George Sotiropoulos. Sotiropoulos was rumored by his own hometown newspaper this week to be next up for either BJ Penn or Florian, though reports out on Wednesday say he’ll fight Joe Lauzon at UFC 123 in Nov. Still, depending on how that goes, it’s not unthinkable that the winner could be able to turn it around to face Florian early next year.
“It looks like my training team wants me to fight in another five months," Florian says. "I’m more motivated than ever. I’m pissed, to be honest. I want to crush my training. That’s what I’m focused on right now.”
I tell ya, this Florian kid is so pragmatic, it hurts.