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Tag: Joe Lauzon

Exclusive Interview: Kenny Florian

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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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‘No Fear’ T-Shirts Still Exist?

Urijah Faber keeps the look alive…

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(Props: CombatLifestyle via BloodyElbow)

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Talking [Expletive] With Dana White, Josh Koscheck, Shonie Carter, and More

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(Koscheck/Sanchez 3 will happen when Kos allows it to happen.)

People don’t stop running their mouths just because it’s the weekend. Here’s what you may have missed…

Dana White on haters: “All I have to say about that is don’t ever (expletive) doubt us. All these (expletive) idiots out there that like to talk (expletive) and (expletive) don’t ever doubt us, man. Don’t ever, ever doubt us.”

Josh Koscheck on Diego Sanchez: “I think I’m in his head. He’s only been thinking and focusing about me for the last year. It’s actually kind of nice. He’s in the same shoes I was after The Ultimate Fighter. For two straight years I woke up every morning hating Diego Sanchez.”

Rich Franklin on his future title prospects: “Realistically, another fight with Anderson wouldn’t be that interesting for fans.”

Dana White on stock car racing: “You come over to my house this weekend and we kick back and watch TV. We put on (expletive) NASCAR. We’re like, ‘Holy (expletive). Look at all the (expletive) people at this race. All those fans and this and that. These guys got television deals and merchandise deals and all this crazy (expletive). You know what? Let’s steal two of their drivers, and let’s start our own (expletive) company. We’ll call it (expletive), you know, GASCAR instead of (expletive) NASCAR.’ That’s how (expletive) stupid it is.”

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Separated at Birth: Identical Twins Edition

Joe Lauzon
JLau

…and Bat Boy
BatBoy

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Florian/Lauzon, Bonnar/Hamill Rumored for ‘Ultimate Fight Night 13′

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Fine, we’ll be the first ones to say it — the scheduled card for January 23rd’s Ultimate Fight Night isn’t exactly turning our cranks. No disrespect to Swick, Cote, et al., but we have seriously low hopes for that mess. Luckily, the next UFN could be a killer, with two sure-to-excite bouts rumored to go down.

As MMA Junkie reports, Ultimate Fight Night 13 will air live on Spike TV on April 2nd, directly before the season premiere of The Ultimate Fighter 7. Lightweights Kenny “Ken Flo!” Florian and Joe “J-Lau!” Lauzon have agreed to a bout that will serve as the night’s main event, while Stephan Bonnar and Matt Hamill have also been discussed as a possible co-headlining bout.

The Florian/Lauzon fight could have major significance to the UFC’s lightweight picture, as the winner could possibly face Roger Huerta for the slot of #1 contender, and eventually face the winner of Penn/Stevenson vs. Sherk. As for Bonnar/Hamill, I have shameless schoolboy crushes on both the soft-spoken “American Psycho” and that big lovable deaf lug, so I know I’d be watching with a bag of Fritos, a bottle of hand-lotion*, and a mile-wide smile.

* Are anybody else’s knuckles drying out in this damned weather? What, you didn’t think I meant…oh come on, grow up!I totally LOVE WOMEN!

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