UFC 136: What Are Kenny Florian's Chances of Dethroning Jose Aldo?
Despite previous rumors that Chad Mendes would be facing Jose Aldo after they were both injury free, it has been made official that Aldo will be facing Kenny Florian at UFC 136. This is my breakdown of the fight, in six different aspects of MMA.
Please enjoy the article, and remember to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comment section.
Kenny Florian has never been known as the absolute best standing up—in any of the four divisions he has fought in. However, he's always been well-respected and is absolutely no slouch.
But he is nothing compared to Jose Aldo while standing up. Twelve of Aldo's 19 wins have been via knockout. While he isn't officially ranked, he is an excellent Muay Thai fighter.
He has seen five decisions in his career, but those are definitely more about how tough the other fighter was rather than his lack of a kill instinct.
Could we possibly forget Mark Hominick's head after his fight with "Scarface?" His looks were reminiscent of The Elephant Man because of a ginormous subdural hematoma caused by Aldo's brutal game. I think Florian is a tough fighter, but he is going to be at a great disadvantage while the fight remains standing.
Verdict: Jose Aldo
Coming into the creation of this slide, I felt it would be more about who is less bad at wrestling. Kenny Florian has a long history of being taken down by the better wrestlers in the division, and Jose Aldo had a hard time avoiding Mark Hominick's takedowns in his last fight. While he wasn't perfectly healthy, I didn't see that as a good sign.
However, upon looking at the stats from Fightmetric.com, some light has been shed on the situation. Florian is only successful on 40 percent of his takedowns and has a takedown defense percentage of 59 percent. Those aren't exactly fantastic numbers.
But despite my original thoughts...Aldo's numbers are stellar. His takedown percentage is 60 percent, which isn't amazing, but still better than I expected. The crazy number comes in with his takedown defense, which is a whopping 93 percent. And upon looking back, Aldo had five takedowns, while Hominick only had one.
Verdict: Jose Aldo
Here is one of the more lopsided comparisons of the different types.
Kenny Florian has a second-degree black belt in Jiu-Jitsu under Professor Roberto Maia. It's definitely not an easy ranking to reach, much less under someone of the Maia name.
And while many will point to the fact that Jose Aldo has a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu as well...he received his from the Nogueira brothers. And this is not a slight to them, but they have a tendency to give away black belts to fighters who they train with.
Just look at Lyoto Machida and Junior dos Santos. I highly doubt they are deserving of being above a brown belt—if that, considering they haven't been training in Jiu-Jitsu for too long. While Aldo may be a very good Jiu-Jitsu fighter, the problem is that we just haven't seen enough of it. Kenny Florian and him have the same number of fights, yet Florian has significantly more submissions.
Verdict: Kenny Florian
Both fighters have shown some cardio issues at times in their careers. Florian has had trouble with more exciting fights during the third round, where he has shown fatigue before, obviously. Looking at his fights with Gray Maynard and just about any of his fights with legit wrestlers, he's had trouble—especially near the end.
Aldo showed he doesn't have a limitless gas tank (referring to the same fight yet again) in the Hominick fight. During the fifth, he took so much damage because Hominick was so much fresher than he was, and Hominick took full advantage.
Verdict: Jose Aldo, but only by a small margin.
General Speed and Quickness
This is yet another example of a lopsided comparison. This is not to say Kenny Florian isn't a quick fighter. He has shown that his best strengths have always been his quickness and Jiu-Jitsu.
However, Jose Aldo has shown he is one of the absolute fastest fighters in the sport. I have seen a number of fights in his past, specifically his older ones, and he is lightning quick and unafraid when going in for attacks. He avoids 73 percent of his opponents' strikes, so clearly, he is an extremely evasive fighter. I really don't think this is close.
Verdict: Jose Aldo
Prediction and Conclusion
I see this fight going down one of two ways. First, Aldo manages to get Florian down, either by a knockdown or a takedown. From there he attempts to use ground and pound, but K-Flo manages to work Aldo into a triangle and works out the second-round submission win.
The other way I see this ending is in a slightly less pleasant way. I foresee Aldo beating Florian pretty bad standing up, most likely getting a knockdown or two. Then Florian will make a takedown attempt, knowing his best chance at victory is on the ground, in a dominant position.
However, he won't be getting Aldo down. Either Aldo will simply avoid the takedowns and keep it standing, or he'll drill Florian with a knee as he goes for the takedown, sending Florian to the ground.
At that point, he'll move into top control and use ground and pound until he catches Florian with a solid elbow that will daze him. He'll be disoriented long enough for Aldo to start raining down punches. After a few seconds of teeing off, the fight will be called 4:16 into the second round.
My official prediction: Jose Aldo defeats Kenny Florian by TKO (Punches) at 4:16 in the second round.
One must remember that these are all simply one writer's opinion. I would love to hear your thoughts on the fight and article in the comments. Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed it.