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.”
Happy Monday, Nation. We hope you had a good weekend. No, really, we hope you’re in a good mood, since we’re presenting the second installment of Keyboard Warrior. Hopefully everyone had naked funtime last night, slept like a baby, and had a great breakfast this morning. Otherwise, we imagine there will be lots of very not-nice things in the comments.
We’ve changed up the appearance of KBW, making it look more like a typical MMA forum, complete with the kind of critical information any Keyboard Warrior should have for important discussion, like join date and number of posts. Maybe now it won’t seem like we’re blatantly ripping off other peoples’ ideas.
You can read the first episode here (all two pages of it), check out number two, and then you’re welcome to leave suggestions, ideas, and odes to our greatness below.
If you’ve ever wondered how Cage Potato sneaks into UFC events, let’s just say it involves matching black baseball hats. Props: MMAConnected.com
Look, I get it. Vancouver fans are extremely excited about their Canucks winning 1-0 at home on Friday, putting the team one win away from taking the Stanley Cup. I’m more than willing to forgive those in attendance for being less than excited about UFC 131, an MMA event absent of title fights, or even some fellow Canadians on the main card. I’ll forgive the chants of “Go Canucks Go” and “We Want The Cup” that broke out throughout the evening. I’ll even forgive them for being won over by Jon Olav Einemo’s Canucks flag. But not watching the fights you’re supposed to be judging? That’s unacceptable.
There were some downright awful decisions made by the judges last night, causing some to wonder if they even watched the fights. Fortunately for Junior Dos Santos, his beating of Shane Carwin was too lopsided to possibly mess up. No doubt, Dos Santos looked impressive against Shane Carwin. Not only did he survive some of Shane’s hardest punches, but he also displayed some improved wrestling. He even managed to make Carwin look gun-shy, which seemed unthinkable. There were numerous times throughout the fight where it seemed crazy that Junior Dos Santos was fighting the same guy that almost dethroned Brock Lesnar. Before we get too excited though, remember that Shane Carwin managed to survive all three rounds, despite being a late replacement coming off of surgery. Time will tell how Dos Santos holds up against Cain Valesquez.
At that exact moment, as he stepped on the scales, he was haunted by the thought that he’d left his oven on. And that was the beginning of the end for Shane Carwin. (Pic: UFC.com)
This card was dealt a serious blow when PPV kingpin Brock Lesnar dropped out due to his ongoing battle with diverticulitis, and the hits just keptcoming. Despite the constant deck shuffling, Joe Silva’s cooked up a decent batch of chicken salad, setting up a headlining bout that in many ways is more compelling than the original and a few match-ups that pose some interesting questions. How will a Jenny Craig’d Carwin perform in his first fight back after undergoing surgery? Will Florian finally find a stable home at 145lbs? Can you even call it “ring rust” after a five year layoff?
A lot of tonight’s fights are tough to call, but we’ll call them just the same. If you tuned in to YouTube or Facebook for the pre-prelims, you were treated to copious amounts of leather (and some questionable judging). We’ll hold off on the results of those fights and the Spike undercard in case they make it to the PPV broadcast. As always, your witty and insightful comments are more than welcome. Your shitty ones, not so much.
Weigh-ins for UFC 131 are kicking off today at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT, at the Jack Poole Plaza in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Check out streaming video of the festivities after the jump, courtesy of the UFC. We’ll plug in the weight totals below the video player after things wrap up. How emaciated will Kenny Florian be at 145? Will Shane Carwin have the same beastly intimidation factor now that he’s slimmed down below the 265-pound limit? What does Vagner Rocha look like, anyway? All will be revealed…
If you missed the UFC 131 countdown show last night, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Of noting is that the UFC enlisted the help of former WWE writer Paul Heyman to help produce the Camp Carwin segments of the show, which he was likely hired for when it was supposed to be his pal Brock Lesnar fighting dos Santos. It’s likely no coincidence, though that Carwin seemed to have a lot more contrived soundbites than usual like, “I’ve wrestled since I was six years old. These hands are meant to get ahold of people. I get ahold of Junior dos Santos, the fight’s over.”
Yessir, we’ve got another $50 store credit to MMAOutlet.com burning a hole through our pants, and we’re holding another fight-picking competition this week to determine its rightful owner.
This Saturday night, UFC 131 goes down in Vancouver, headlined by a heavyweight #1 contender fight between Junior Dos Santos and Shane Carwin, and a featherweight feature between Kenny Florian and Diego Nunes. If you want a crack at this week’s prize, post your predictions for these two fights in the comments section below, including the winner’s name, the method of victory, and the time/round of stoppage (if any). Basically, your entry should be in this format:
(Photographic proof of how the UFC contributed to Aldo’s injury. That’s a slam dunk insurance claim right there.)
With the UFC featherweight title picture out of focus until champ Jose Aldo heals from a nagging shoulder injury, a question that was recently brought up was what happens if Diego Nunes beats Kenny Florian Saturday night at UFC 131? Surely, he won’t fight a teammate, since that’s a faux pas in Brazil, right?
According to Aldo’s longtime trainer and Nova Uniao founder Andre Pederneiras, “Everyone from Nova Uniao knows that if they have to fight against each other, they will.”
Remember when Kurt Pellegrino said he would retire if he lost to George Sotiropoulos at UFC 116 and then decided that because he was injured in the bout and came close to finishing G-Sots in the closing minutes, he was taking a do-over on his vow?
Well, it looks like Pellegrino made the same pledge to himself prior to his UFC 128 fight with Gleison Tibau as ‘Batman’ announced today via his personal website that he has opted to not sign a new contract with the UFC following back-to-back losses in the Octagon. Instead, the 16-6 Point Pleasant, NJ lightweight who is 7-5 in the UFC says he will shift his focus to his jiu-jitsu students and on improving his jiu-jitsu, wrestling and boxing skills for if and when he decides to make a return to fighting.
In the final days leading up to UFC 127, a fair amount is being written (much of it by the fighter himself) about Jon Fitch’s new, surprisingly not-that-disgusting-sounding vegan diet. About a month ago, Fitch posted the above video to his official YouTube channel showing him pouring hemp milk and raw agave into his oatmeal, casually mentioning that sometimes he “opens up a coconut” to drink with lunch and that he only eats nuts when they’re “raw and organic.” Insert your own joke about that last part. For a fairly standard “fighter blog” the vid actually has some pretty high production values – dig that scene at 2:19 of Fitch opening the cupboard … shot from inside the cupboard. Also, judging by the easy tenor of Fitch’s voiceover narration (and the soft guitar soundtrack), we’d wager there are a couple of Bright Eyes CDs kicking around somewhere in the guy’s condo.
“I like my oatmeal lumpy,” Fitch says at one point, apparently without irony. Meanwhile, every other 32-year-old man in America snickered and then said, “Hey fat girl, c’mere, are you ticklish?”
Predictably, in an MMA subculture that seems by turns very accepting and/or totally intolerant of quirky lifestyle choices, some eyebrows were raised. Fitch responded by penning a further explanation of his diet as part of the pre-UFC 127 “Fight Journal” he wrote for MMA Fighting.com. Sure, choosing to minimize your “meat intake to at least five percent or less of your overall calories” doesn’t sound like it’s for everybody but if that’s what Fitch wants to do, no harm done, right? Well, maybe not. As Kenny Florian told SBNation this week, there are some concerns that the diet may have cost Fitch some of his natural size advantage over BJ Penn this weekend. Check it out, then let the rampant speculation begin:
What are you trying to say? Trouble at the old mill? Someone fall through the ice? Bobcat?
It’s yet to be confirmed by the UFC, but it would appear that former lightweight contender Kenny Florian will be fighting Diego Nunes when he makes his featherweight debut at UFC 131. The Vancouver card will be headlined by a heavyweight number one contender’s match between Junior Dos Santos and Brock Lesnar. Oh yeah, Shane Carwin is on board for this one, too.
KenFlo said that he wanted to fight a top contender, and Diego Nunes certainly fits the criteria. “The Gun” has gone 5-1 under the Zuffa banner and is currently riding a three fight win streak. His most recent outing was a split decision victory over former WEC featherweight champion Mike Brown back at UFC 125 in January. As for Florian, since losing his most recent title fight to BJ Penn back at UFC 101, KenFlo has gone 2-1, notching victories over Clay Cuida and Takanori Gomi before losing a decision to Gray Maynard at UFC 118.
You didn’t think Kenny Florian would just drop to 145-pounds without a plan in mind, did you? If you did, you don’t know KenFlo. Nope, the now former perennial lightweight contender’s camp has a pretty detailed blueprint of what they’d like to see Florian do at featherweight. As manager Malki Kawa tells MMA Weekly on Wednesday, they think their guy will be on the fast-track to the top once he returns from a knee injury and gets his weight headed in the right direction. Check it out:
“A top contender,” Kawa says about Florian’s first 145-pound opponent. “Whoever the No. 1 contender is at that point is the guy I’d like to get. What would be my ideal situation is for him to get a fight in June, whoever the No. 1 contender is, win that fight and then hopefully set something up for Brazil with (Jose) Aldo, if the UFC’s up for it.”
(They can beat up pretty-boys and clowns, but how will Florian and Griffin do against the featherweight elite?)
Now that the UFC has a 145-pound division, it was only a matter of time before a few lightweight contenders decided to chase the belt where the competition’s a little smaller. The biggest name so far is Kenny Florian, who told ESPN.com yesterday that he’s taking himself out of the lightweight mix to try his hand at featherweight:
“I started playing around with the idea: could I make 145? Originally, I didn’t think it was possible,” Florian said. “I spoke with a few nutritionists, got their opinions, told them what my body fat was, my walking-around weight, all that stuff and the general consensus was that it was very possible…[The UFC] is very supportive. They’re very excited about the move…My goal is to get the 145-pound belt, and then go up to 155 and challenge for that belt as well.”
("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 …
Not to pull back the curtain too much, Nation, but there’s been a lot of talk behind the scenes lately about CP branching out into a new webshow. Well, consider the open casting call for hosts officially closed now that we’ve seen Kenny Florian and Kurt Pellegrino doing … whatever it is they’re doing here. All we know is that Pellegrino looks pretty snazzy in that suit jacket (not to mention that finely coiffed hair) and Florian’s vamping alter-ego is approximately 100 times more entertaining than the average MMA fighter’s real personality. We assume that when Chael Sonnen said fighters spend a few hours a day working out and have the rest of their lives to choose between screwing around and positively contributing to societycommitting crimes, this is what he meant. Personally, we’ll take screwing around. You had us at “Don’t talk back to me,” KenFlo.
You’d sort of hope that Pettis/Guida happens at #130, so that if Pettis wins, he can enter the cage following the main event and face off with the lightweight champion in a "you have my belt, homey" moment. Of course if Edgar vs. Maynard results in another tie, we’re all screwed. Not out of the realm of possibility, considering how evenly matched those guys are.
It is with deep regret that I will not be able to compete in my scheduled fight against Evan Dunham on January 22nd, due to a knee injury I sustained during training this morning. Although I have not had an MRI as of yet; the doctors are cautiously optimistic that it will not require surgery. I want to express my sincere apologies to the fans, the UFC and Evan for not being able to compete at UFC Fight Night 23: Fight for the Troops 2. Since early September, I have been training for this fight. Evan is a great fighter and has undoubtedly been working very hard towards this fight as well. Plus, it is a big disappointment that I will not be able to fight in the octagon for the brave soldiers that fight for us. I am determined to return to the octagon in the first half on 2011. Accordingly, I will keep you all updated.
Kenny Florian and Miguel Torres co-hosted last night’s episode of MMA Live and it was surprising to hear both fighters praise Zuffa for making the decision to merge the WEC and UFC brands.
The reality is that the promotion will likely not hold as many events per year as both organizations did in the past, so for both fighters to say that the move is a positive one is curious to say the least.
It’s understandable that Torres, who revealed during the show that he will face Manuel Banuelos at UFC 126, would be excited about the merger as will likely see more lucrative paydays and will get more mainstream exposure fighting on the bigger stage, but Florian doesn’t stand to gain much from the move.
Not only will there be fewer slots on each card for him to potentially fight on with 20-plus, he will have to face an influx of tough fighters like Jose Aldo and Torres who will inevitably move up to lightweight in the future.
Also on the segment, Roy Nelson and his magnificent mullet discussed being called out by Brock Lesnar and his feelings on the fight, which he has coveted for some time.
Reeling from back-to-back losses against Dan Hardy and Paulo Thiago — which he partly attributed to a medical misdiagnosis that screwed with his health for years — UFC welterweight contender Mike Swick has a lot to prove in his next fight. According to MMA Weekly, Swick will compete at Fight for the Troops 2 on January 22nd, meeting up with David Mitchell (10-1, 0-1 UFC). Mitchell suffered the first loss of his career in his Octagon debut at UFC Fight Night 22, dropping a decision to fellow first-timer TJ Waldburger — making Swick vs. Mitchell a true must-win for both fighters.
In 2006, Swick was incorrectly diagnosed with dyspepsia, and was put on a restrictive diet that made it impossible for him to keep weight on, which directly resulted in Swick’s drop from middleweight to welterweight. This year, Swick learned that he actually had "esophageal spasm with acid reflux," a condition that you don’t need to treat by starving yourself. At this very moment, Swick is taking the first step towards fixing his health problems once and for all, undergoing an "experimental medical procedure" that involves getting his esophagus injected with a neurotoxin. Sounds painful, but the ability to eat Thai food again should more than make up for it. Here’s to a "Quick" (yeah, yeah) recovery.
According to Aldo, who has fought as a lightweight before, after talking it over with his managers, Ed Soares and Joinha and his coach, Andre Pederneiras they came to the conclusion that the timing wasn’t right for him to make the move up to 155, partially because it takes time to put on the mass required to move up a weight class and also because he doesn’t want to have to fight any of his Nova Uniao teammates.
"Actually I started in a lighter division, then changed to this one and tried the division above, but it’s up to [Andre] Dedé [Pederneiras] and he knows better," Aldo explained. "When I was fighting on the division above he thought there were many people of the gym on that division, and on my division there’s me and Marlon [Sandro] and I can play pretty hard on this one and I’m the champion, so I think it’s best for me to stay on this weight division."
On last night’s episode of ESPN’s "MMA Live", co-host Kenny Florian revealed that his next fight is close to finalized. As the two-time lightweight title contender said, "We’ve verbally agreed to fight Evan Dunham, which is great news. Phenomenal opponent, which I’m very excited about, and it looks like it may happen on Super Bowl weekend."
Ken-Flo is coming off of his unanimous decision loss to Gray Maynard at UFC 118, while Dunham — previously #7 on our increasingly-buckshot list of the 10 greatest undefeated fighters in MMA — recently left it in the hands of the judges at UFC 119, losing a decision to Sean Sherk that Dana White publicly called a robbery. As we wrote then, "it will be interesting to see if the UFC simply ignores the amazing incompetence of the ringside officials on Saturday night and keeps the kid full-speed-ahead on his rise to a title shot." Even though Florian is coming off his own loss, the matchup definitely feels like a well-deserved step up the ladder for Dunham.
It’s also another potentially sick addition to UFC 127 (February 5th, Las Vegas), an event that may feature Silva vs. Belfort, Jones vs. Bader, and Griffin vs. Franklin. Now that we think about it, a Florian vs. Sherk rematch would have made just as much sense here. Your thoughts?
And frankly, this is a good example of yet another reason why KenFlo is one of the more likable fighters in all of MMA. Rather than taking the Dan Hardy approach — where you respond to your team’s multiple wrestling-based losses by publishing a screed in the local newspaper where you insist that (and, yes, this is an exact quote): “The problem is there’s beginning to be too much wrestling in the UFC Octagon, not too little of it in the (Team Roughouse) gym,” – Florian is opting to actually do something about it, trying to get better and keeping his dream of one day holding a UFC title alive.
BJ Penn: The Prodigy spent 2007-2009 destroying all the top talent in the UFC’s lightweight division, then looked completely uninspired in two consecutive fights against Frankie Edgar. Either Penn has fallen off his game dramatically or Edgar is just a terrible style matchup for him — and we won’t really know the answer until Penn’s next fight. What’s obvious is that lightweight has been Penn’s most effective weight class in general, and going back up to 170 would be a terrible idea, especially while Georges St. Pierre still rules the roost. The UFC should give Penn a rebound fight against a name opponent who’s a little further down the ladder, but will test BJ’s desire to fight. That’s right, folks, it’s time for BJ Penn vs. Takanori Gomi II. Gomi is born-again after starching Tyson Griffin; add in Gomi’s history with Penn, and you have a co-headliner that any pay-per-view card would be lucky to have.
At only 31-years of age, it isn’t like Pellegrino’s best years were behind him — in fact, some might argue that he is better than he ever was, which made his vow even more newsworthy.
Following the fight, Pellegrino, who held his own in the bout and nearly finished Sotiropoulos at the final bell, revealed that he had torn his meniscus and ACL in the first round of the fight and that he wasn’t goin’ out on a loss that just didn’t sit well.
We spoke to Kurt yesterday to discuss the fight, the injury and the surgery he has to undergo as well as his roles as a fighter and family man and his future in the sport.
(Yves has Hominick in trouble now. I’ve seen him do this in training at Tristar. He’s feigning an injury. – KenFlo)
If you watched WEC 49, you may have noticed that during the featherweight bout between fellow Canadians Mark "The Machine" Hominick and Yves Jabouin, that Kenny Florian seemed a bit one-sided in his commentary. I thought, for the most part, KenFlo’s color work was pretty good, but watching the Hominick-Jaboun bout left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Obviously Jabouin and Florian are teammates at Tristar, but that doesn’t really excuse such slanted commentary. He seemed to overlook most of Hominick’s shots that landed except for a handful and was basically instructing Yves how to escape from the trouble Mark had him in during the fight.