UFC lightweight fighter Kenny Florian has come close to grabbing UFC gold on more than one occasion, but each time the championship has been within his grasp, he has faltered. Florian has lost in title fights to both Sean Sherk and BJ Penn, and recently lost a number one contender’s bout against Gray Maynard. UFC President Dana White has asserted that, based on these facts, Florian “chokes” when all the marbles are at stake. Speaking with MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani recently, Florian explained that he doesn’t take much offense at White’s comments and actually draws from them some motivation.
“It bugged me a little bit to be honest,” Florian said of White’s words. “Honestly, I like Dana a lot and have a great relationship with him; for me, it’s motivating more than anything else. I kind of took it as a compliment because he expected more out of me. I expected more out of me. Despite the fact that my wrestling isn’t as good as Gray’s, I still felt I should have performed better and I could have won that fight… That’s the way it is man, sometimes it’s not your night. I just gotta come back stronger. It’s that much more motivating when I hear a guy like Dana who I like and admire, who’s my boss, it pushes me that much more in training. I wake up with that much more enthusiasm.”
Florian is currently scheduled to face Evan Dunham in the main event of UFC Fight for the Troops 2, which will be taking place at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas and will also feature main card bouts between Matt Mitrione and Tim Hague, featherweights Mark Hominick and George Roop, Pat Barry and Joey Beltran in addition to Cole Miller and Matt Wiman.