("Tell me the truth, does this haircut make me look washed-up?" PicProps: MMA Convert)
It was just a matter of time before some intrepid MMA journalist got to Kenny Florian to get his response to all that shit Melvin Guillard was talking before Fight for the Troops 2. During his appearance on our own Bum Rush podcast (and a bunch of other shows) Guillard quipped that he no longer considers Florian a top contender for the UFC title and said he thinks KenFlo should get out of the way and let some new blood have a chance. “I’ll fight Kenny Florian,” Guillard told us, “but to be honest with you, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say he’d be a pretty easy fight for me." Damn, playa. Really?
On Monday, Al Pepe of ProMMA Radio invited Florian on the air to play him some clips of Guillard talking crazy. As always, Florian was gracious and well-spoken, but when the topic of “The Young(ish) Assassin” came up, you could hear a hint of irritation creeping into his normally composed broadcast voice. Dig it, after the jump …
"After beating Evan Dunham … he’s finally considered a top contender, but he wasn’t considered a top contender before …,” Florian said. “Losing to Joe Stevenson in the first round in a minute isn’t going to get you that shot. Losing to Nate Diaz by guillotine choke early on isn’t going to get you that shot. You have to be consistent. Melvin’s not losing to the top of the division like I am, he’s losing to guys who are middle of the pack. He has to separate himself from the pack and finally he’s done that against Evan Dunham. If he feels I don’t deserve it, knock me out of the division, give me another loss … I would take that fight. There’s not one top guy that I don’t want to face."
As Pepe rightly points out, Florian’s name has been in the streets an awful lot lately, considering he’s been out with an injury. Not only did both Dunham and Guillard have things to say, but Florian himself said he wouldn’t mind a bout with Anthony Pettis and there were recent reports that Jose Aldo said, “Thanks, but no thanks” to the idea of a fight with him. Maybe all the whispering has finally gotten the Massachusetts native pissed off.
“If Melvin thinks he deserves a shot over me, then he should fight me and beat me …,” Florian said. “I’ve lost twice for the belt, once very early on (in my career) – maybe I had four fights in the UFC at the time – (and) I had another shot against BJ (Penn) which I didn’t obviously win. But it’s always about who the best fighter is. I feel as far as Melvin is concerned, who has he beaten? What has he done?"
After tearing up his knee while prepping for a proposed fight with Dunham at FFTT 2, Florian said he’ll be able to return to boxing training this week, should be back to full MMA workouts by early next month and is hoping for a return to the cage in May or June. So look for a possible clash with Guillard circa UFC 130 or 131, give or take.