8 Feb 2009 10:05:59 AM
8 Feb 2009 10:05:59 AM
8 Feb 2009 09:52:39 AM
(Josh, this isn’t really the best time to tell your fishing stories. Photo courtesy of UFC.com)
Last night’s UFC Fight Night show hosted 7,596 fans at the University of South Florida Sun Dome in Tampa, for an approximate gate of $428,000. A nice-sized chunk of that was re-distributed to the fighters in $30,000 end-of-night bonuses. Taking home the extra chedda were…
Fight of the Night: Josh Neer and Mac Danzig for their breakneck-paced two-round brawl, which saw the Dentist get in Mac’s head with his constant taunting and eventually end the match with a triangle choke.
Submission of the Night: Headliner Joe Lauzon for locking in a brutal armbar on Jeremy Stephens at the end of the second round of their fight, seemingly motivated by the blood that had begun spurting out of his head.
Knockout of the Night: Cain Velasquez, apparently. Though his fight against Denis "The Body" Stojnic was a one-sided drubbing, the stoppage by ref Jorge Ortiz was a bit confusing to the fighters as well as the fans. Stojnic wasn’t exactly "knocked out"; he was just turtled for a little too long as Velasquez pawed at him, and initially mistook the stoppage for a referee standup. Still, it was enough to get Velasquez another win, and increase his record to 5-0.
Full results from the event are after the jump.Read More ADD COMMENTS (43) DIGG THIS
7 Feb 2009 17:52:26 PM
(Photo courtesy of Combat Lifestyle.)
We’re closing in on the start time for UFC Fight Night 17, an event whose fairly mediocre lineup threatens to be hopelessly overshadowed by the tornado of MMA controversy and news. But no matter, there are free fights on and we’re going to enjoy ourselves, dammit.
Hit refresh often and don’t bring me down with your bitching about how Jeremy Stephens isn’t a main event fighter. He is tonight. Think positive!Read More ADD COMMENTS (110) DIGG THIS
6 Feb 2009 15:08:04 PM
(God help the man who tries to get away with a little extra grease on this fight card.)
It’s been a while since we’ve made predictions for a fight that are so incredibly detailed and specific that they can’t possibly be accurate (or can they?), but with UFC Fight Night 17 just a day away it seems like the perfect time to a little prognosticating.
The fighters weighed in this afternoon, so now all that’s left is to find some way of making people forget about Vaseline and Strikeforce for just a couple of hours. Coincidentally, “Forget About Vaseline and Strikeforce” is also the title of my forthcoming tell-all memoir. I think it’s going to do well. I really do.
J-Lau seems like he might be setting himself up for a fall by talking about how quick and easy this fight is going to be. At least, that’s how it would happen if life were like sports movies. It isn’t, though. In real life the Bad News Bears remain a rag-tag group of losing rapscallions all season long and Coach Buttermaker ends the season as a sex offender with ten percent liver function. Sorry, but that’s the reality, people. Lauzon wins this with his superior jiu-jitsu, catching Stephens in a rear naked choke after mounting him and punishing him with a few bony elbows.
When Will It Happen: 3:51 of round 1.
What to Watch For: The post-fight interview, where Lauzon calls out Hermes Franca for his UG comments and picks a much tougher fight for himself in the process.Read More ADD COMMENTS (49) DIGG THIS
5 Feb 2009 16:30:59 PM
(Will "Rumble" Johnson crumple another opponent into a carry-on sized hunk of meat? Magic eight ball says, "All signs point to yes.")
Between greasing controversies and the Strikeforce purchase of Pro Elite, we certainly hope you haven’t forgotten about UFC Fight Night 17 on Spike this Saturday. Ah, who are we kidding, you’re not going to forget. It’s a night of free fights, and we’ll be liveblogging it! What more could you want?
Well, for starters, how about the opportunity to parlay that cash you won’t be spending on a pay-per-view (for a change) into big winnings with our helpful betting guide? Yeah, that sounds nice, doesn’t it? Odds come courtesy of BestFightOdds.com, as usual.
Joe Lauzon (-175) vs. Jeremy Stephens (+166)
Cain Velasquez (-550) vs. Denis Stojnic (+501)
Mac Danzig (-120) vs. Josh Neer (+120)
Luigi Fioravanti (+276) vs. Anthony Johnson (-285)
Kurt Pellegrino (-200) vs. Rob Emerson (+191)
Dan Miller (-165) vs. Jake Rosholt (+186)
Matt Grice (-145) vs. Matt Veach (+141)
Gleison Tibau (-115) vs. Rich Clementi (+105)
Nick Catone (-220) vs. Derek Downey (+206)
Steve Bruno (+105) vs. Matt Riddle (-115)
Thoughts…Read More ADD COMMENTS (31) DIGG THIS
5 Feb 2009 10:23:56 AM
Judging by his feud with Hermes Franca on the UG, Joe Lauzon is a nice enough guy until you say something about his brother. That’s a line you probably shouldn’t cross with him apparently, and once you do you’ve made yourself an instant enemy.
In our exclusive interview Lauzon talks about how the bad blood erupted on the UG, just how pissed off he really was, and what he thinks of Jeremy Stephens’ plan to break his will at UFC Fight Night 17 this Saturday.
CagePotato.com: So how serious was this beef with Hermes Franca?
It was serious on my end. I take it personally when he comes at my brother like that. Basically, he hurt his knee and couldn’t fight, so I said how sorry I was to hear it, hope he heals up, best of luck, all that, and maybe we can fight somewhere down the line.
And then he starts calling me “the luckiest motherfucker alive,” saying that after he saw how much my brother sucks he couldn’t wait to fight me, stuff that’s just completely uncalled for. I’m saying, ‘sorry to hear about your knee,’ and he’s saying, ‘you suck.’ That’s just complete trash.
Do you think he might have been joking, like a lot of people suggested?
I don’t think so. He called me the luckiest motherfucker alive. I just ignored that, whatever. I signed my post Joe “The Luckiest Motherfucker Alive” Lauzon, and let it go. I didn’t say anything after that. Totally let it go. Then he comes back talking about how much my brother sucks, and it wasn’t a joking kind of thing. If you’re joking, you don’t say stuff about someone’s family like that, just so direct. That’s just not something you do.Read More ADD COMMENTS (45) DIGG THIS
5 Feb 2009 08:51:29 AM
(Stephens works for a guillotine against Spencer Fisher at the TUF 7 Finale.)
On Saturday night, Des Moines, Iowa’s Jeremy Stephens will step in to the Octagon to take the place of his friend and training partner, Hermes Franca, in a main event bout against Joe Lauzon. Things got personal between Franca and Lauzon in an internet forum feud, so it seems only fitting that a friend of Franca be the one to replace him in an attempt to win bragging rights for his side.
In our exclusive interview Stephens talks about what this fight means, how it will be won, and what’s next for the “Lil’ Heathen” in the UFC.
CagePotato.com: You’re stepping in for Hermes Franca on somewhat short notice, but you were training with him to help him prepare for Lauzon, right?
Yeah. I was down in South Beach training with him, and in Ft. Lauderdale, as well. I travel a lot to train.
How did you guys get hooked up? And is that why the UFC asked you to step in for him, because you guys were training partners?
No, we have the same manager. My manager, when he mentioned that he had Hermes, I said, ‘He’s a great fighter. I’d love to train with him.’ And when he told Hermes that he had signed me, Hermes said he had a fight coming up and he was going out to San Diego to train and since I had a fight coming up too we connected out there and started training together.
But when he got hurt I actually called up my manager, Reed Wallace, and requested the fight with Joe Lauzon.
Did it have anything to do with the little feud that erupted between Joe and Hermes on the UG?Read More ADD COMMENTS (48) DIGG THIS
5 Feb 2009 07:29:13 AM
(Props: MMA Mania)
Hey, look who’s getting into the video blog act — it’s Joe Lauzon, who lets us into his world as he flies from Boston to Tampa to take on Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night 17. Him and his crew gawk at Tiffani Amber Thiessen, visit Gracie Tampa, do a news spot with Rich Clementi…and that’s about it. Maybe he’ll have a shock pen in tomorrow’s episode and things will really get interesting. Below: New UFC signee Jake Rosholt gives RawVegas.tv a tour of his house in Las Vegas, which contains about as many live animals as dead ones; watch to the end and you’ll see the most amazing pet trick ever.
27 Jan 2009 16:35:23 PM
(Watch out for the uppercut, Joe)
Give the UFC this much, they don’t wait until the last minute to secure a replacement when someone goes down with an injury. Earlier today we told you about Hermes Franca pulling out of his main event bout with Joe Lauzon and then starting a bizarre internet rivalry. This afternoon UFC.com announced that Jeremy “Lil’ Heathen” Stephens would be taking Franca’s place on Feb. 7.
You might remember Stephens as the guy who was on his way to losing a decision against Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 91 before he unfurled a murderous uppercut in the third round that knocked Dos Anjos out cold (see above). It was an exciting finish that made us remember him and the totally sweet nickname "Lil’ Heathen" (even though it rhymes with his last name and we kind of hate that), but Stephens vs. Lauzon still feels like exactly what it is: a replacement bout.Read More ADD COMMENTS (22) DIGG THIS
27 Jan 2009 08:47:35 AM
(You just hate to see a guy like Franca sidelined for anything other than a steroid suspension or drunk-driving arrest.)
UFC lightweight Hermes Franca has been forced to pull out of his scheduled bout with Joe Lauzon at Fight Night 17 on Feb. 7 due to a torn ACL, according to a post by Franca on the UG. Franca said he injured the knee last Saturday and will now have it repaired. He added:
Thank you UFC,my fans, friends for the support, i was training hard and i was so excited ,but there’s nothing i can do, (could be worse), so Hermes franca will take a break for some recovery,and come back stronger than ever like i always do!!!!
Nothing like referring to yourself in the third person to remind everyone that you are a professional athlete. This is the second time in the last week that a scheduled opponent of one of the Lauzon brothers has had to pull out of a fight due to injury. First Chris Horodecki failed his physical exam prior to a fight with Dan Lauzon, which meant “The Upgrade” had to face “Frantic” Bobby Green and get his testicles jostled. Now Franca is hurt and the UFC will have to find a replacement to take on Joe Lauzon.
Lauzon, replying to Franca’s post, expressed his disappointment at the news and wished Franca a speedy recovery, real gentleman-like. Then things got a little weird on the ol’ internets, with this remark from Franca:Read More ADD COMMENTS (227) DIGG THIS
6 Jan 2009 05:00:00 AM
(Props: MMA Mania)
The UFC has confirmed the lineup for UFC Fight Night 17, which will go down February 7th at the University of Southern Florida Sun Dome in Tampa; tickets can be purchased here. Notably, the recently arrested Josh Neer still has the green light to compete in a lightweight feature against Mac Danzig. Also on the televised main card, TUF 7 winner Amir Sadollah finally has his first post-TUF match against undefeated Ring of Combat vet Nick Catone, Cain Velasquez welcomes Golden Glory striker Denis Stojnic to the Octagon, and Joe Lauzon and Hermes Franca try to build a win streak in the main event. The full lineup is below…
Joe Lauzon vs. Hermes Franca (LW)
Cain Velasquez vs. Denis Stojnic (HW)
Mac Danzig vs. Josh Neer (LW)
Amir Sadollah vs. Nick Catone (MW)
Kurt Pellegrino vs. Rob Emerson (LW)
Alessio Sakara vs. Jake Rosholt (MW)
George Sotiropoulos vs. Matt Grice (LW)
Gleison Tibau vs. Rich Clementi (LW)
Luigi Fioravanti vs. Anthony Johnson (WW)
28 Nov 2008 08:35:07 AM
(Photo courtesy of daylife.com.)
Well, it looks like the Octagon will be short one dreadlocked Camaroonian. Multiple sources have confirmed that charismatic Team Quest fighter Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou has been released from his fight contract following his TKO loss to light-heavyweight up-and-comer Luis Cane at UFC 89 last month; the defeat dropped Soko’s UFC record down to 1-2, and his overall record to 5-3. Though he entered the UFC on a wave of hype last year with quick knockout victories over PRIDE stars Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Ricardo Arona under his belt, Sokodjou’s relative inexperience was exposed in his unsuccessful debut against Lyoto Machida, and now he’s been pink-slipped to sharpen up his game elsewhere.
Speaking of fighters who never lived up to the promise of their pre-UFC performances, Rich Franklin’s BFF Jorge Gurgel has been cut — despite winning a $60,000 Fight of the Night bonus at UFC 91 — and picked up by Strikeforce. Gurgel’s decision loss to Aaron Riley earlier this month was just another frustrating example of Gurgel brawling his way to defeat rather than use the fearsome jiu-jitsu that earned him a 9-1 record (with all wins by submission) before being signed by the UFC. Within the Octagon, Gurgel went 3-4, with all but one fight going to a decision.
Though he told MMA Junkie that the cut was "very humiliating" and "a crushing of my childhood dream," he also sounded hopeful in a press release distributed by Strikeforce, saying "To me, this is like a new start. I’m coming in fresh…I make some bad decisions because I have too much fun. I have never used my Jiu Jitsu in the UFC…[people] ask me why I don’t use my Jiu-Jitsu. I have so much fun standing up and I completely think I’m winning all the time…I will always bring the same intensity and I’m always going to fight 110 percent. I just want to be able to use everything that I know."
UFC 91 PPV numbers and more after the jump…Read More ADD COMMENTS (19) DIGG THIS
6 Aug 2008 19:11:33 PM
Pro fighter/bikini model Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Watterson will make her EliteXC debut on the untelevised undercard of their September 20th Showtime broadcast. You can get to know her better by watching this video of her posing in bikinis and doing high kicks; thanks, Fightlinker.
Sometimes the most badass guys are the ones you’d least expect — for example, the short, skinny, possibly Hispanic man in the above video with the insane fu-manchu mustache. Who knew he’d have that kind of upkicking prowess? (See the 2:28 mark). By the way, if anybody can figure out what he’s saying at 1:18, 1:23, 1:27, and 1:32, please let us know. Bas Rutten, you’ve just been served. Mad props to our buds at Holy Taco.
Here’s a clip from the Rob Schneider comedy Big Stan featuring Don Frye, Bob Sapp, and Randy Couture. If we remember Couture for nothing else, let’s remember him for the line he delivers at 3:28. Props to “Card” on the UG.
Bonus awesomeness after the jump…Read More ADD COMMENTS (13) DIGG THIS
5 Aug 2008 16:20:31 PM
(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?Read More ADD COMMENTS (22) DIGG THIS
24 Jun 2008 13:37:33 PM
(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.Read More ADD COMMENTS (20) DIGG THIS
8 Apr 2008 18:00:53 PM
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.Read More Comment(1) DIGG THIS
2 Apr 2008 17:59:17 PM
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…Read More ADD COMMENTS (6) DIGG THIS
2 Apr 2008 12:11:24 PM
(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:
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
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…Read More ADD COMMENTS (15) DIGG THIS
1 Apr 2008 21:59:41 PM
1 Apr 2008 02:25:05 AM
(Ken-Flo and J-Lau will face off in tomorrow’s main event.)
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)
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)
30 Mar 2008 22:24:36 PM
(“Disrespect me again and I snap the kid’s neck!”)
“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.
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.Read More ADD COMMENTS (6) DIGG THIS
26 Mar 2008 20:22:09 PM
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.Read More Comment(1) DIGG THIS
16 Mar 2008 16:30:42 PM
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.Read More ADD COMMENTS (12) DIGG THIS
12 Mar 2008 00:00:15 AM
9 Mar 2008 15:10:20 PM
(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.”Read More ADD COMMENTS (3) DIGG THIS
1 Jan 2008 23:00:48 PM
26 Dec 2007 16:00:06 PM
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!Read More ADD COMMENTS (193) DIGG THIS