(Video courtesy of Videobb/fightvideomma)
If you listened to The Bum Rush Radio Show this week (and we’re pretty sure at least some of you did, right mom?) you would know our collective feelings on the inevitability that Kenny Florian would be handed another undeserved title shot if he beat Diego Nunes at UFC 131. Well, according to UFC president Dana White, KenFlo “pretty much” has dibs on Jose Aldo when the champ returns from nursing a nagging shoulder injury.
When asked at the post-UFC 131 press conference if Florian’s win earned him a shot at Aldo, White answered succinctly, “More than likely. How’s that for confirmation?” before adding “I’ve got a lot of respect for him. He deserves a shot at the title. No doubt about it.”
Sure Florian’s win over Nunes was a decent one, but taking two out of three rounds doesn’t really scream “immediate title shot” to me. I’m starting to think Kenny has a photo of Dana White and Joe Silva in a compromising position with a barnyard animal or something. How else can you explain their proclivity for handing Florian title shots whenever the feeling comes to them? What about Chad Mendes? And if you’re going to just give title shots away, why not bring in Hatsu Hioki and put him against the champ or even better still, have him fight Florian to decide who deserves it more?
I seem to recall a certain UFC president stating that Florian was a choker when it came to title fights, so why give him another one before proving if he can beat a top-tier 145er. I asked Mark Hominick a few weeks ago if Florian is an opponent he’d like to face and he said he would if he got past Nunes. Problem solved.
Maybe Dana was caught up in the moment, maybe he was trying to make headlines out of footnotes from the presser, or maybe he realized the photo Florian’s camp had been holding over his and Silva’s heads for the past few years was merely a shoddily done Photoshop, but for whatever reason he was less definitive when talking to MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani a short while later.
“We’ll see what happens,” he said. “Nothing is definitive.”
Especially not the UFC’s formula for deciding its number one contenders.