Top UFC lightweight fighter Kenny Florian is poised to meet Gray Maynard next weekend at UFC 118 in a fight that will determine the UFC’s next number one lightweight contender. Florian, who has accomplished as much as just about any top lightweight fighter, recently told MMAWeekly Radio that he is growing tired of Maynard’s increasing jaw flapping and that he intends to put a stop to it come August 28th.
“One thing that needs to be made clear is Gray’s the one who asked for this fight. He’s the one that called out the winner of [mine and Takanori Gomi’s] fight,” said Florian.
“Ken-Flo” believes that Maynard has gotten an undue confidence boost now that Frankie Edgar, who Maynard defeated in 2008, is UFC Lightweight Champion.
“He was pretty quiet as far as wanting to get the belt at first, seems like he didn’t want to fight B.J. or Frankie or whatever, and then all of a sudden when Frankie won it seems like he started to get real cocky, or started trying to make a name for himself,” said Florian. “I don’t know, it seems like he got cocky over night, all of a sudden.”
A Massachusetts native, Florian would seem to have all the motivation he needs in fighting in front of a hometown crowd for the first time (UFC 118 is taking place at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts) but “Ken-Flo” has found added motivation in Maynard’s talk.
“It’s motivating for me,” said Florian. “I don’t see any reason for him to be cocky. He’s had decisions over guys. He hasn’t finished anyone of note. He’s squeaking by on these decisions, yet he’s talking like he’s already a world champion. I don’t really understand where the cockiness is coming from. In those decisions he had against Roger Huerta, I thought he probably won it, against Nate Diaz, he barely won it, but I could have seen it going the other way. So these are fights to me, I don’t think he was very impressive. Maybe it’s because he feels obviously he has a win over Frankie, but it just seems like he got very verbal and very cocky, so I’m looking forward to going out there and fighting him. I think he’s fought tough guys, but he hasn’t fought anybody like me. I think he’s looking past me. I think he thinks he’s already going to fight for the title or he’s already won the title.”
Florian understands how Maynard is getting caught up in his own hype but he’s still eagerly anticipating reigning on “The Bully’s” parade.
“I’m looking forward to it,” said “Ken-Flo.” “One of my favorite things to do is spoiling a party, so I’m looking forward to doing that.”
Florian and Maynard will square off next weekend on the main card of UFC 118: Edgar vs.Penn II at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. UFC 118 will be headlined by the title fight rematch between Champion Frankie Edgar and BJ Penn. Boxer turned mixed martial artist James “Lights Out” Toney will test his hand at MMA for the first time against MMA legend Randy Couture.