Florian feels ready

The lightweight division of the
Ultimate Fighting Championship is a loaded and intriguing segment of today’s
Mixed Martial Arts scene. Among the notable names in that group is Kenny
Florian.

The Peruvian-American is ranked
fourth in his weight class and his known for among other things his elbow
strikes. This week it was confirmed that he would be on the main card for UFC
118 taking place in Boston
on August 28.

His opponent will be sixth-ranked
Gray “The Bully” Maynard with the winner in great shape for a shot at the
lightweight title. Meanwhile that same title will be on the line in the main
event of UFC 118 as champion Frankie “The Answer” Edgar faces predecessor BJ
“The Prodigy” Penn. Florian says he is ready for Maynard and will watch the
title fight closely.

“I train hard, I’m confident in my
training and I’ll be ready,” Florian said. “Depending on the results of my
fight and whether Penn beats Edgar I’m looking forward to more fights.
Hopefully I’ll fight Penn.

“To be honest I don’t really
understand or care for the current rating system. I look at the skills and
styles a guy brings to the table and how he uses them in a fight. A guy who
wins fights using just one style (whether he is going in and just striking guys
or straight grappling) is not as good of a fighter as someone who mixes their
strategy and uses more than one style.”

Florian, 34, is of particular
importance to Cayman fight fans as he was here this month. Alongside trainer
and esteemed boxing/MMA coach Peter Welch, Florian held seminars on Muay Thai
kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (his specialities). Roughly 85 participants
were taught MMA moves such as the Americana,
standing guillotine choke and the outside leg kick and techniques regarding
striking, grappling and countering at the D. Dalmain Ebanks Boxing Gymnasium.

Brought down by FAST Defense
originator Bob Daigle, Florian stated Cayman has potential in the sport.

“It was my first time there and I
loved it. It’s hard to grade the Cayman fighters on a scale of 1-10 but they
did well working with me. Everyone has their styles and their strengths and
weaknesses, which could all improve with more quality instruction. The reality
is Cayman still has a ways to go to become an MMA fixture. But the people I saw
have heart and belief in themselves. Once you have that you’re well on your
way.

“I’d encourage all of the kids
wanting to get into MMA to explore all of the different sports out there. Doing
things like hockey and football can give you the strength for MMA. I feel
arguably the best sport to get into would be gymnastics. I never did it but my
brother did and had a lot of training, almost as much as I do for fights. I’ve
seen where it gives the conditioning, toughness and agility you would need to
be an MMA fighter.”

Daigle, who at one point donned the
infamous Bulletman suit for full contact demonstrations with Welch, stated that
the Florian seminars were just the start of Cayman’s future link with MMA.

“I thank the Cayman youth in
particular for coming out and supporting this endeavour. An announcement will
be made in approximately four weeks on who will be the next UFC superstar to
grace Cayman’s shores. I especially thank all of the major sponsors as well as
the local media who all did their part to make the seminars such a success.”

Just about every person, whether in
the octagon or outside of it, has an opinion on the top fighters in the sport
today. Unlike many of his peers Florian did not include himself in that list.

“My top pound-for-pound fighters
are George St. Pierre and Anderson Silva. I train every month with George and
he has an awesome grappling game. He can take down the best wrestlers and guys
much heavier than him. Silva simply has awesome striking ability.”

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