UFC lightweight fighter Kenny “Ken-Flo” Florian lost a number one contender’s bout to Gray “The Bully” Maynard this past weekend at UFC 118: Edgar vs. Penn 2, his third high-profile loss in his UFC career. UFC President Dana White recently said that Florian’s losses follow a pattern and are the result of his inability to perform when it matters most. “Ken-Flo” recently told MMAFighting.com that his skills in the wrestling department are the reason for his loss and not any kind of mental weakness.
“I take what Dana said as a compliment because I think he really believes in my skills as a fighter,” Florian said. “I was capable of winning the fight but I would have to have fought a very boring fight. I felt great mentally & physically. I have more work to do on my wrestling & have already made the arrangements to become much better in that area of my game.”
During the fight, Maynard controlled Florian with dominating wrestling and ground control in addition to effective striking defense and counter punches. Florian had brief moments of success and was looking for the finish off of his back but just could not deal with “The Bully’s” smothering and relentless wrestling attack. Florian believes that the loss was a result of that and that alone.
“Gray out wrestled me. I didn’t crumble,” he said. “I have won many main events & important fights. I blame my weakness in wrestling on the loss, not my mental game.”
“Ken-Flo” told MMAFighting that he believed his counter-wrestling to be enough to deal with Maynard and that he is making preparations already to shore up that weakness so that he can experience more success when he returns.
“I thought my defensive wrestling would have been enough but it wasn’t,” Florian revealed. “I will be working with high level wrestlers on a ridiculously consistent basis to improve this. I need to be 10X more than I was to ensure that it is not only muscle memory but so I can prevent losing in this manner in the future.”