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Tag: Joe Lauzon

Exclusive Interview: Kenny Florian

UFC fighter Kenny Florian
(Whose house? KenFlo’s house.)

As MMA fighters go, Kenny Florian is as intelligent and articulate a guy as you can hope to find. He’s also a workaholic and an ever-evolving bad-ass in the cage, and his next test against the formidable Roger Huerta should answer any lingering questions as to who deserves to be the UFC’s top lightweight contender. Whether B.J. Penn will stick around to defend his 155-pound title, well, that’s another issue altogether.

In this exclusive interview with KenFlo we discuss training strategies, Roger Huerta’s apparent dissatisfaction with the UFC, being an ESPN MMA analyst, and more.

CagePotato.com: Hey Kenny, thanks for talking with me. How has your training for this fight been going?

Everything’s been going really well. My training camp was awesome. I really didn’t take too much time off. After the Lauzon fight I think I was back in the gym the following week and I wasn’t completely pleased, technically speaking, with my performance, so I wanted to get right back in the gym and improve on those things. With all the commitments I had before this fight, the traveling and all that, I’m glad I got a jump on it early.

What were you displeased with about your performance against Lauzon?

Joe Lauzon just shouldn’t have taken me down like he did. That was the main thing, was the wrestling angle of it. I just wanted to get back and get my hands on a quality wrestling coach so I could really improve in that area. It’s one thing to be able to do it in training, but it needs to be second nature in order for you to use it when you need it in a fight. So I found a great wrestling coach who’s just been a phenomenal addition to my team.

I’ve just been working on a lot of the fundamentals of wrestling, both defensively and offensively, and working on making sure I’m doing things right technically. With wrestling in particular you get a lot of people who will tell you ‘Oh, you should do it this way or that way,’ but having a world class guy to show you this is the way it should be done and here’s why, it gets it into your muscle memory and makes you a stronger fighter.

What do you think Roger Huerta’s greatest strength is as a fighter?

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Dan Henderson to Return at UFC 88

Dan Henderson UFC
(Photo courtesy of DanHenderson.com)

MMA Weekly reports that Dan Henderson’s next Octagon appearance will be a middleweight bout against Rousimar Palhares at UFC 88 (September 6th, Atlanta). Palhares (8-1) is the Brazilian Top Team rising star who pwned Ivan Salaverry so hardcore during his Octagon debut at UFC 84 that Salaverry retired from fighting. Henderson is coming off of back-to-back title fight losses, to Quinton Jackson at UFC 75 and Anderson Silva at UFC 82. Palhares has serious potential, to be sure, but his relative lack of experience puts him at a great disadvantage against one of the most accomplished fighters in the world. Still, if Palhares can pull off an upset, he’ll put himself in the mix for a middleweight title shot.

In other UFC fight-booking news…

Joe Lauzon has agreed to fight Kyle Bradley at UFC Fight Night 15 (September 17th; Omaha, Nebraska). Bradley, a Team Voodoo product and veteran of various regional leagues, made his Octagon debut as a welterweight at UFC 81, where he was destroyed by Chris Lytle in 33 seconds. He’ll now be fighting at his natural weight of 155.

— Rory Markham, a Bettendorf-based IFL standout who most recently submitted Jay Ellis at Adrenaline 1 on June 14th, will be making his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 14 (July 19th, Las Vegas). His opponent will be Brodie Farber, a former Rage in the Cage middleweight champion who’s won his last six fights in the MMA Xtreme organization.

— Thomasz Drwal, the Polish light-heavyweight whose 13-fight win streak was snapped by Thiago Silva at UFC 75, will make his second Octagon appearance at UFC 87 (August 9th, Minneapolis) against 5-0 IFL veteran Andre Gusmao. Drwal was slated to fight David Heath in February, but was forced to pull out of the bout with a knee injury.

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Video: Gesias Calvancante vs. Joe Lauzon

Since this morning’s Baszler/Chan viddy was pulled off YouTube in nothin’ flat, here’s another must-see: Gesias “JZ” Calvancante vs. Joe Lauzon in an amateur MMA match that took place I don’t know when and I don’t know where (if you can fill in the blanks, please hit us with the info in the comments section). The fight starts out as a jiu-jitsu chess match — honestly, it looks like the guys are just playing Twister at one point — until Lauzon scores the full mount and rains down some green leather. But JZ reverses the position and the round ends. In the second frame, Calvancante patiently works to Lauzon’s back and slips in the rear-naked choke; Lauzon stands up with JZ on his back, and eventually goes down like a wounded animal. It’s an interesting look back at a time when Joe was just starting out and Gesias wasn’t such a freakin’ beast.

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Fight of the Day: Florian vs. Lauzon

Many of you wanted the underdog to pull this one out, but it’s hard not to be impressed by Kenny Florian, who faced another tough opponent last night and walked away without so much as a scratch. The match certainly lived up to the hype, with a wild first round and decisive finish. Unfortunately, Lauzon was completely lost under Florian’s mount, and did very little to control Florian’s body. The better fighter won; simple as that. Let’s hope the UFC grants Ken-Flo’s wish and gives him a fight with Huerta to decide the 155-pound division’s next lightweight title contender…

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UFN 13 Undercard Notes and Post-Mortem

Flo-zon
(Yep, Kenny finishes fights. Photo courtesy of MMAWeekly.)

It’s a shame that the UFC couldn’t squeeze a fourth hour out of SpikeTV for last night’s Fight Night broadcast, because the preliminary matches were just as action-packed and stoppage-heavy as the televised card. Some highlights:

— Clay Guida dominated Samy Schiavo, taking the Frenchman down in the middle of the opening round and ground-and-pounding him against the fence until the ref stepped in.
— Marcus Aurelio sent Ryan Roberts to the mat with a right hand directly following the bell, then quickly tapped him with an armbar; the submission victory took just 16 seconds. The win contributed to a 2-1 showing for American Top Team fighters last night, as Thiago Alves defeated Karo Parisyan, and Din Thomas dropped a unanimous decision to Josh Neer.
— Of the three Armenians competing last night, only Manny Gamburyan found a win, finishing Jeff Cox in the first round with a guillotine choke; Karo Parisyan and Roman Mitichyan both suffered second-round TKO losses.

Full results are below:

Main Card
Kenny Florian def. Joe Lauzon via TKO, 3:28 of round 2
Thiago Alves def. Karo Parisyan via TKO, 0:34 of round 2
Gray Maynard def. Frank Edgar via unanimous decision
Matt Hamill def. Tim Boetsch via TKO, 1:25 of round 2
Nate Diaz def. Kurt Pellegrino via submission (triangle choke), 3:06 of round 2
James Irvin def. Houston Alexander via TKO, 0:08 of round 1

Preliminary Card
Josh Neer def. Din Thomas via unanimous decision.
Marcus Aurelio def. Ryan Roberts via submission (armbar), 0:16 of round 1
Manny Gamburyan def. Jeff Cox via submission (guillotine), 1:41 of round 1
Clay Guida def. Samy Schiavo via TKO, 4:15 of round 1
George Sotiropoulos def. Roman Mitichyan via TKO, 2:24 of round 2
Anthony Johnson def. Tommy Speer via TKO, 0:51 of round 1

Some final thoughts…

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UFC Fight Night 13: Live Results

Case of beer? Check. Piss bucket? Check. Well then, we’re ready to roll! Click the “more” link and refresh the page every few minutes to get the latest updates from the “Bloodbath in Broomfield” (a.k.a. UFN 13).

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Fight Night 13 Weigh-ins


(Ken-Flo and J-Lau will face off in tomorrow’s main event.)

Here are the quick weigh-in results for tomorrow’s UFC Fight Night 13. For video of the scale tippers and Joe Rogan’s screaming, go here.

Main Card:
Kenny Florian (155.5) vs Joe Lauzon (156)
Karo Parisyan (171) vs Thiago Alves (171)
Nate Diaz (156) vs Kurt Pellegrino (155)
James Irvin (205) vs Houston Alexander (205)
Gray Maynard (155) vs Frankie Edgar (155.5)
Tim Boetsch (206) vs Matt Hamill (204)

Under Card:
Josh Neer (156) vs Din Thomas (155)
Roman Mitichyan (170.5) vs George Sotiropoulos (169.5)
Marcus Aurelio (154.5) vs Ryan Roberts (155.5)
Clay Guida (156) vs Samy Schiavo (155)
Manvel Gamburyan (155.5) vs Jeff Cox (155)
Tommy Speer (170) vs Anthony Johnson (169.5)

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Ken-Flo Not Feelin’ the Lauzon Love


(“Disrespect me again and I snap the kid’s neck!”)

In our chat with Kenny Florian, he kinda’, sorta’ hinted that feels he’s being disrespected by BJ Penn and the Lauzons. He flat out says it in an interview with MMAWeekly:

“But now here’s a kid looking past me. He’s training with B.J. Penn and apparently he’s become B.J. or whatever it is and they’re looking past me. You know what? If they do that, B.J.’s going to end up sending Joe Lauzon to the slaughter, because I’m not going to have anyone disrespect me like that or anyone going into a fight thinking they’re just going to run right by me.”

And a similar statement from a Sprawl.tv interview:

I think he has been very disrespectful. I think Joe has been hanging out with B.J to much, and now he thinks he’s little B.J. Well little B.J is going to get taken care of on April 2nd.

Joe Lauzon didn’t do any disrespectin’ when we talked to him and judging by the video the Lauzons shot and posted over at Joe’s official site, they’re full of respect.

A lamp shade on a head — when not creepy — is comedy gold, no matter how you slice it. Lightweights Ken-Flo and J-Lau will battle it out in the main event on Wednesday during UFC Fight Night 13.

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Joe Lauzon: The Accidental Star

JL

By CagePotato Guest Contributor Brian Knapp

What began as innocent play-acting between friends on a backyard trampoline evolved into an unlikely career for Joe Lauzon — an information technology specialist by trade, a mixed martial artist by choice. Never in his wildest dreams could Lauzon have envisioned the path he has taken.

“It happened by accident,” Lauzon says. “We’d been power bombing and choke slamming each other on a trampoline, and it eventually turned into a grappling match to see who could stop who. A couple of my friends started training in jiu-jitsu, and the next thing I know, I’m getting triangle choked every two minutes.”

His competitive interest piqued, Lauzon decided to train, too, and through that seemingly insignificant decision, the Brockton, Mass., native charted a new course.

“I was like, ‘enough of this,’ and I started training jiu-jitsu,” he says. “And when my friends started fighting, I started fighting. A couple of years ago, I never would have thought I’d be on a billboard in Times Square.”

Lauzon has covered great distance in a short time, emerging as a top prospect inside one of the UFC’s deepest divisions. He will tackle Kenny Florian in the main event at UFC Fight Night 13 next Wednesday, April 2 at the Broomfield Event Center in Broomfield, Colo. And right now, Lauzon’s stock has never been higher.

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Exclusive Interview: Kenny Florian

KF

By CagePotato Guest Contributor Ben Fowlkes

On April 2nd, Kenny Florian headlines the next edition of Spike TV’s “UFC Fight Night,” where he’ll take on lightweight up-and-comer Joe Lauzon. While most fans know that Florian, like Lauzon, got his start in the UFC with The Ultimate Fighter, what they don’t know is that his journey really began with a near-death experience that changed his outlook on life.

Florian took a trip to Brazil in the summer of 2003 with the goal of improving his jiu-jitsu. While hiking down a mountain with some friends, Florian slipped on the wet, mossy rocks and began sliding off a precipice. Friends tried to grab him, but Florian plummeted over the edge and fell “for what seemed like an eternity.” He landed on a rounded rock that stopped his fall and ultimately saved his life. The experience was an eye-opening one for Florian, and it prompted him to abandon the safety of his white-collar life and pursue his dreams.

In this exclusive interview, Florian talks about the ramifications of that incident, about being haunted and motivated by defeat, and about his impending showdown with Lauzon and what it means for his career.

CagePotato: You came into the UFC by way of The Ultimate Fighter, and you’d only had a few professional fights at that point. What’s the major difference between that Kenny Florian and the one we see in the Octagon now?
Kenny Florian: That last Kenny Florian’s a punk. No, the Kenny Florian on The Ultimate Fighter was a guy who was trying to test his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He was a guy who really wasn’t sure if he wanted to become a fighter. It was just an opportunity that was presented to him at the time.

Now you’re seeing a guy who wants to learn it all and who wants to be a master of it all, and who sees the beauty in any technique that works. Whether it’s striking or wrestling or expanding my jiu-jitsu game for MMA, I’m trying to not only get good at the individual arts but find a circle of techniques that flow into each other and compliment each other. It’s an art in itself, just finding what works for MMA.

Now that you’re fighting at lightweight and having success, do you ever look back and wonder, “What was I thinking trying to be a middleweight?”
I was fat, that’s the main thing that comes to my mind. I had no concept of nutrition, of strength and conditioning. Not until after the Sherk fight did I have any concept of those things like the way I do now. I was definitely a work in progress, but I was crazy then. I was really a natural 155’er who was given an opportunity to compete at 185 and I thought, why not? I had nothing to lose.

I had no idea it would become this big, running show. I thought it could have been my only opportunity to fight for the UFC or fight on TV and help bring this sport to the masses. It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up, and on top of that, week after week, I became more confident. I thought, with the skills I have now I’m doing well against all these experienced mixed martial artists, I may have a chance at winning this thing.

It was really one of my first experiences with mixed martial arts and it was a great chance to work out with great coaches like Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell and find out what it takes to get to that next level. Those are the guys that planted the seed in my head for what I’m doing now.

Reading past interviews with you, it seems like you’re really motivated by your losses. What’s it like after a big loss, when you get back to the dressing room and have to face that dark moment? How do you move past it?
It’s a terrible, terrible feeling. My loss to Sean Sherk haunts me to this day. At the same time it motivates me, and I can look at it as a positive experience. You can let things like that defeat you, or you put them behind you and learn from them and get better. That’s what I tried to do. There’s no such thing as a setback in life. There are only lessons. We’re made to evolve and get better and faster and stronger. You can do that within your own life.

It’s like pushing weights for the first time and your body’s sore and it sucks and it’s really hard, but after a while your muscles and your nervous system and everything gets stronger. Your muscle memory gets better. That’s the way it is with certain things in fighting. If you have a loss, you need to look at it and learn from it. What technical mistakes did I make? What strategic mistakes did I make? What mental mistakes did I make?

You cover all those bases and, if you need to, write it down and start working on patching those holes up. You can only look at it as a positive and live in the present day. If you live in the past, you’re dead.

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