UFC 136: Kenny Florian Talks Training at Featherweight, Title Fight and More
Florian looks refreshed in the featherweight division, after a great outing against Diego Nunes and after one bout in a new weight class, Florian says that his training regimen hasn't changed all that much when he moved down in weight.
"Obviously there's a big difference between (training at) middleweight and featherweight, but there's a little bit of a transition, just trying to find fast training partners on a consistent basis, especially for a guy like (Jose) Aldo. Other than that, it's not really a major difference for me, I was never really a true middleweight."
Despite all that, Florian also said that he had to train for Aldo a bit differently and discussed how unique of a fighter he is.
"He's (a) very fast, explosive guy, similar to B.J. (Penn) but obviously more of a kicker. His dangerous weapons are his legs, excellent footwork, very fast and I think dangerous on the ground, we're about the same with the wrestling, all those things so definitely, he is a unique opponent.."
Florian will be fighting in the UFC for the 17th time when he steps in against Aldo. Aldo made his UFC debut against Mark Hominick and earned "Fight of the Night" for an exciting performance for that bout at UFC 129 in April.
Aldo looked very impressive in that bout, but Florian believes that the experience factor could be one key in this next bout.
Who will win the title fights at UFC 136?
"Generally, I don't think he's faced a guy who is as well-rounded (and) as experienced as I am and you know, that's what I'm going to bring in there. (I'm going to) bring in well-rounded skills, experience, and just going to see where the mistake lies."
Florian says he was a "chubby 178-pounder" and has moved down to welterweight, then lightweight and finally down to featherweight. The size advantage may seem obvious, but for Florian, it's when you step inside the Octagon that the true test in strength begins.
"It's one of those things that's hard to tell unless you get in there with the guy. You see who's stronger. All I know is I've done my best to prove my strength and I'm feeling pretty confident about that, but you never know until you get in there."
Florian comes from a Peruvian heritage and is quite impressed to how the Latin community has responded to mixed martial arts, but believes that educating fans is a continuous process.
"Having been in Brazil, and having been in Peru and been to Mexico many times, I'm just so very impressed with how the communities there and the people there have been responding to the sport. They love it and I think that goes with any country that sees this sport will fall in love with it."
"You never know what's going to happen, and it keeps people on the edge of their seats and it's a matter of really educating the public wherever you go. The Latin community, we respect fighters, we love the fight game, we've been around the combat sport game for a long time.
"Mixed martial arts really provides a lot of excitement and a ton of respect amongst them and we just need to (keep) getting out there and educating them on how we train, how hard we train, who we are, all those things."
The Latin community and the rest of the world will be watching closely and see if Florian can become the king of the featherweight division. There is a tough test ahead of him so there is only one way to find out what happens and that is to watch UFC 136 on Oct. 8.
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