Kenny Florian

MMA Live Episode Seven

From ESPN, the full show of MMA Live with Jon Anik, Kenny Florian and Franklin McNeil.  UFC, Affliction, MMA in NY, EliteXC, it’s all in there:

Penn, Sherk Continue War of Words


B.J. Penn. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The war of words between UFC lightweight kings B.J. Penn and Sean Sherk raged on yesterday, a little over a week until their highly anticipated showdown that will decide the organization’s true lightweight champion in Las Vegas.

Even before the bout was officially signed, Penn has been adamant about blasting Sherk with every chance he gets concerning Sherk’s failed steroids test last year under the watch of the California State Athletic Commission, a ruling that the Minnesota native still feels is wrong to this day.

“It’s hard for me, being a guy that’s never used performance enhancing drugs,” Penn said on yesterday’s pre-fight conference call for UFC 84: Ill Will. “You wake up every day after training tired and in pain and it kind of gets to you when you learn that someone is taking those kind of things. I’m a purist and I love this sport more than anythning. When someone goes ahead and perverts a sport as pure as this, I can’t take it.”

Even though the two both agreed that the conclusion of the fight would most likely result in the end of the bad blood and hard-feelings, Penn continued to push Sherk’s button as the call went on, even going as far as asking the former champion himself about his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs, prompting Sherk to strike back.

“I know what I did and I know what I didn’t do,” Sherk said. “I went above and beyond what I had to do in order to try and prove that I was innocent. Anyone that has followed the case and what I’ve had gone through will know that I didn’t do what they said I did.”

“I have fans who stand by me and who believe that I didn’t take steroids,” continued Sherk. “Then there are those who will think a certain way because of the way I look. I’ve looked the same for the past 10 years. Shit, I’ve apparently been doing steroids and I’ve been able to drop down to 155 lbs. Amazing, isn’t it?”

Moderating the banter was UFC President Dana White. While White was hesitant to give a definite opinion on the situation involving Sherk, he also stated that he can’t complain about the amount of animosity between the two.

“I’ve known Sean Sherk for a long time. I respect him as an athlete and as a man,” White said. “B.J. has his opinions of Sean and he’s going to let you know what they are. This happens sometimes. One of the cool things about this sport is the sportsmanship and everything else. But you know sometimes guys just rub each other the wrong way and it happens. Everything I just said about the two best fighters in the world facing each other in their prime, it doesn’t suck when they hate each other either.”

Additional conference call notes from yesterday are after the jump.

Continue reading "Penn, Sherk Continue War of Words"

More Details on ESPN.com’s “MMA Live”


Kenny Florian. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

As we reported yesterday, UFC lightweight title contender Kenny Florian will serve as the host of ESPN’s newly-planned online mixed martial arts magazine show that will appear exclusively on the company’s official website and on mobile phones.

“MMA Live” will be a half-hour program covering all aspects of the sport, including news concerning various organizations around the world and upcoming events among other things. Florian will work alongside Jon Anik, who has already done some online MMA work for ESPN and Franklin McNeil, a reporter for the Newark Star-Ledger and a regular contributor to the UFC’s “Countdown” shows.

“It’s kind of a fast-paced show on the current news and events going on in the sport,” Florian told MMA Weekly. “There’s a whole lot of guys at ESPN that have been trying to get this done I guess for two years. Basically, I was contacted by ESPN about two weeks before my fight against Joe Lauzon and there was some interest. They finally got the okay to do an MMA show, and they were interested in using me for this show.”

“It’s strictly going to be on ESPN.com. It’s not going to be on TV as of right now,” Florian added. “Basically they’re going to do a run for three shows on ESPN.com and see what the response is, see how it does. Then if it goes well, we’ll do a regular thing on the Internet, and if it does even better, then possibly you’ll see it on TV.”

The show is slated to debut tonight on ESPN.com at 7:00 PM ET. MMA on Tap will have the video up if and when it becomes available.

CKA: May 14, 2008


Kenny Florian. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Kenny Florian will reportedly serve as the temporary host of ESPN’s newly-planned online mixed martial arts magazine show that will appear exclusively on the company’s official website and on mobile phones according to Adam Swift of MMA Payout.

According to Swift, Florian will serve as the show’s host at least for the first two weeks of tapings. However it’s unknown whether the show will be UFC-based, something that apparently delayed the launch of the program, or if it will cover the entire world of the sport.

Affliction-HDNet Deal Still Possible

While it was previously reported that a potential deal between Affliction and HDNet that would have the clothing brand hold it’s first MMA show at the Dallas-based American Airlines Center fell apart, HDNet Fights CEO Andrew Simon says that the event could still possibly be televised on the digital cable network.

According to MMA Weekly, the event would not be permitted to take place at the home of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks due to a lack of time to substantially promote the show. However the potential of at least part of the event airing live or on tape-delay on HDNet is not out of the realm of possibility.

“We talk to everybody and I wouldn’t say that any conversation is dead yet,” Simon said in the report. “You just never know. You know how this sport works, one day you think you’re not working together and the next day you might announce something. Affliction… I would say, never say never.

ASU Shuts Down Storied Wrestling Program

Arizona State University has decided to shut down it’s storied wrestling program along with men’s swimming and men’s tennis as part of a financial cutback at the school according to MMA Weekly.

Normally this wouldn’t be the type of news to be reported on this site, but the school’s wrestling program has produced a slew of highly-touted MMA prospects in recent years, including current UFC fighters Cain Velasquez and C.B. Dollaway. Shoe-in hall-of-famers Dan Severn, Don Frye, and Dan Henderson all competed for the school as well in the past.

There may still be hope for the program. NCAA President Myles Brand is expected to hold a meeting later this month to discuss the possibility of protecting school sports that also take place in the Olympics, wrestling being one of them.

Bush Tests Positive for Marijuana

Heavyweight prospect George Bush has reportedly tested positive for marijuana following his first-round tournament loss to former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez at YAMMA Pit Fighting’s inaugural show last month in Atlantic City, New Jersey according to Sherdog.com.

“I just found out a few days ago, and needless to say, I’m very surprised and disappointed,” Bush said in the report. “I accept full responsibility for my actions, and I assure the fans that this will never happen again.”

While there won’t be any official announcement from the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, (they don’t release drug-testing information to the media) Bush has confirmed that he has not been fined but has been suspended by the commission for 90 days.

Report: Florian-Huerta Likely for UFC in August


Roger Huerta weighs-in for The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

A heavily rumored bout between lightweight contenders Roger Huerta and Kenny Florian seems to be very likely to take place when the Ultimate Fighting Championship travels to Minnesota for the first time in the promotion’s history in August.

The news comes from MMA Weekly, which reports through sources close to both fighters that bout agreements have been sent out and are expected to be signed.

Since losing an unanimous decision to former lightweight champion Sean Sherk close to two years ago, Florian has propelled himself right back into title contention with four straight wins. Most recently, Florian stopped fellow Boston native Joe Lauzon with strikes at UFC Fight Night 13 earlier this month.

Huerta, who last year became the first mixed martial artist to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated, has won his first six bouts inside the confines of the UFC. He last submitted fellow exciting lightweight Clay Guida at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale in December and is currently on a hiatus from fighting while he finishes college.

Florian first revealed his desire to fight Huerta following his win over Lauzon just weeks ago, stating that it was the one fight in the UFC’s lightweight division that made the most sense at the moment. Huerta concurred in recent interviews and it now looks like the winner of the bout may be on the fast track to a shot at the winner of next month’s championship showdown between B.J. Penn and Sean Sherk.

UFC 87 is also expected to feature a heavyweight showdown between former professional and collegiate standout wrestler Brock Lesnar and UFC Hall-of-Famer Mark Coleman, who was the first UFC heavyweight champion in history.

Florian to Commentate for Rogan at UFC 83


Kenny Florian weighs-in for UFC Fight Night 13. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

UFC lightweight contender Kenny Florian will serve as the color-commentator during the pay-per-view broadcast of the organization’s next event, UFC 83: Serra vs. St. Pierre II on April 19th at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

The news comes from MMA Weekly, who had Florian on their daily radio show last night.

Florian will be filling in for usual commentator Joe Rogan, who will be unable to work the event with play-by-play announcer Mike Goldberg due to unspecified previous obligations, likely stemming from his career as a stand-up comedian.

It will be the first event that Rogan has been unable to work since UFC 64: Unstoppable in October 2006.

Florian is coming off of a victory over Joe Lauzon Wednesday night at UFC Fight Night 13. Florian stopped Lauzon with strikes in the second round.

Report: Huerta Back in Action in August


Roger Huerta weighs-in for The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Lightweight phenom Roger Huerta, who opened many eyes after maintaining a busy schedule last year that included five straight wins, will likely return to action when the Ultimate Fighting Championship travels to Minnesota for UFC 87.

The news comes from Ryan McKinnell of MMA Madness.

Huerta, who currently trains out Minnesota, gained instant fame in 2007 when he became the first mixed martial artist to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated. He capitalized over a debut win over Jason Dent with five wins in as many fights last year, closing things out with an impressive stoppage of Clay Guida in December.

The 24-year-old recently announced his intention to take a break from active competition in order to let his body heal and take care of lingering injuries. He is now expected to fight once again in August against an opponent yet to be announced.

Word of Huerta’s return to action comes two days after fellow lightweight contender Kenny Florian, fresh off of a victory over Joe Lauzon Wednesday night, revealed his desire to fight Huerta in the near future.

Courtesy of The Fight Network:

“One fight I think that could be a blockbuster fight in the lightweight division is me and Roger Huerta,” Florian said. “I think that’s an incredibly marketable fight, a fight that could be the hottest fight right now in the lightweight division.”

UFC 87 is also expected to feature a heavyweight showdown between former professional and collegiate standout wrestler Brock Lesnar and UFC Hall-of-Famer Mark Coleman, who was the first UFC heavyweight champion in history.

Florian Stops Lauzon in Denver


Kenny Florian throws a knee at Joe Lauzon. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The ‘Battle of Boston’ went in Kenny Florian’s favor last night as he relentlessly pressured fellow Massachusetts native Joe Lauzon before ultimately stopping his foe with an onslaught of unanswered strikes during the latest edition of UFC Fight Night at the at the Broomfield Events Center in Denver, Colorado.

What originally was booked as a friendly matchup between two lightweight contenders slowly evolved into a heated exchange of pre-fight trash talking. The tension between the two was evident from the start of the fight as an intense staredown changed into a quick exchange of punches.

Lauzon quickly down Florian down in the first minute. An unorthodox attempt by Florian to use elbows from the bottom was foiled by referee Herb Dean after one of the blows cut the back of Lauzon’s head open. Florian then used solid submission defense to escape knee bar and heel hook attempts before eventually closing out the round delivering strikes from the top position.

Florian turned up the heat at the start of the second round. A swift body kick led to Florian scoring a takedown and transitioning to half-guard. The veteran of the inaugural season of “The Ultimate Fighter” then rained down unanswered punches and elbows on Lauzon for nearly two full minutes. Despite a good job of covering up and limiting damage, Dean decided that Lauzon had enough, moving Florian even closer to another shot at the lightweight title that was once in his reach.

“Joe’s a great competitor and I knew it was gonna be a tough fight,” Florian said after the bout. “That’s what I wanted.”

Continue reading "Florian Stops Lauzon in Denver"

Report: Florian, Lauzon Verbally Agree to Bout

UFC lightweight contenders Kenny Florian and Joe Lauzon have verbally agreed to face each other in the main event of the next UFC Fight Night scheduled for April 2nd.

The news comes from a report by Loretta Hunt of The Fight Network.

Contracts have yet to be sent out to the fighters but are expected to be sent out, signed, and returned within the next few weeks.

Florian has been riding a wave of confidence since losing a UFC lightweight title opportunity to Sean Sherk last year, winning his last three fights in impressive fashion. He submitted Din Thomas in his last bout at UFC Fight Night 11 in September after Thomas suffered multiple injuries to his knee during a takedown attempt in the fight.

Lauzon stopped former champ Jens Pulver with strikes in his UFC debut in 2006 only to take 9 month hiatus to be on the cast of the fifth season of The Ultimate Fighter. Lauzon lost in the semifinals of the reality show to Manny Gamburyan. Since the show ended, Lauzon has defeated Brandon Melendez and Jason Reinhardt in consecutive bouts.

CKA: Sep 28, 2007

I give this guy an A for effort. Hopefully the UFC considers him at least.

News and Notes

Everyone is excited about the return of Gilbert Melendez…

Sherdog: Melendez Makes 2007 Debut in Strikeforce
MMA Weekly: Melendez Returns More Determined Than Ever
Yahoo! Sports: Melendez the best fighter you might not know
Bloody Elbow: The World’s #1 Lightweight Fights Saturday at the Playboy Mansion
CBS Sports: Q&A with Strikeforce lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez

- Jordan Breen says that the UFC is trying to secure another TV deal in Japan with WOWOW:

In the most recent issue of the Japanese combat sports periodical Gonkaku, Zuffa co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta said he hoped to ink a new deal with Japanese satellite channel WOWOW next year. He added that an agreement could be accomplished sooner rather than later.

While a deal is far from complete, this is good news for Japanese MMA fans. As of March 2007, WOWOW has just over 2.43 million subscriptions in Japan. After the channel’s UFC 70 telecast in April, network executives had officially announced that they could not reach a contractual agreement with Zuffa to continue broadcasting UFC events.

- Din Thomas will most likely be out for at least four months according to MMA Weekly.

You may remember that Thomas injured his knee while attempting to take Kenny Florian down in their fight at UFC Fight Night 11. It turns out that Thomas suffered a torn meniscus, stretched anterior cruciate ligament, bruised femur, and a damaged tibia and will be required to undergo arthroscopic surgery within the next two weeks.

- Falaniko Vitale has been added to the Strikeforce card for this Saturday and will make his Strikeforce debut against Ron Fields.

- 411 Mania has confirmed with B.J. Penn’s camp that he is booked for UFC 79 in December.

- Tonight’s episode of Human Weapon on The History Channel will feature Strikeforce welterweight Cung Le.

- The second installment of Inside MMA will be broadcasted tonight at 9:30 PM EST on HDNet. Tonight’s episode will feature a segment on Shane Carwin, a visit to Duke Roufus’ MMA school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, highlights, and rankings. Hosts Kenny Rice and Bas Rutten will be joined by guests UFC referee “Big” John McCarthy, Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson, and Chris Bruno.

- Still looking for something else to watch? Spike TV will be airing a replay of UFC Fight Night 11 tonight starting at 9 PM EST.

- Zach Arnold is reporting that Kazuhiro Nakamura and his management team, J-Rock, plan to file an appeal with the CSAC:

J-ROCK, the management team of Kazuhiro Nakamura, fired back at the California State Athletic Commission in the Japanese press on Thursday. The company released a statement on behalf of Nakamura, denying that he was guilty of using marijuana and that they are appealing the ruling. They want a drug test re-examination and are considering the current ruling a mistake. (In the statement, J-ROCK claims that they talked to Nakamura after the news of the failed drug test came out. Nakamura stated that he had no motive whatsoever for using marijuana and has not used marijuana.)

- Sam Caplan has an excellent interview with UFC light heavyweight contender Houston Alexander at Five Ounces of Pain. A single father taking care of six kids while fighting in the UFC, hosting his own radio show, and traveling the country to lecture on the culture of hip hop. Holy shit.

Radio Schedule

12-1 PM - Tagg Radio
1-3 PM - The Savage Dog Show
3-4 PM - Fight Network Radio
3-5 PM - The Beatdown
9-10 PM - MMAWeekly’s Sound Off
11 PM - Knockout Radio

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