Exclusive Interview: Kenny “KenFlo” Florian

By Percy Crawford


Exclusive Interview: Kenny “KenFlo” Florian

“I’m ready to bring him through hell!”

Kenny Florian talks about April 5th comeback at Ultimate Fight Night against Dokonjonosuke Mishima! Check it out!

PC: How is training going for your April 5th fight with Dokonjonosuke Mishima?

KF: It’s going really well man. I’ve been training hard. I’ve had a couple of setbacks, a staph infection in my knee and a little rib injury, but I’m doing alright man. All the training I did ahead of time to prepare for this fight is getting me through, so I’m ready to go.

PC: Who are some of the guys who are getting you prepared for this fight?

KF: My brother as always. He’s a big part of the team that helps me get ready. I have a bunch of Mui Thia guys and wrestling guys, so I’m ready.

PC: You’ve had 5 months off since the Sherk loss. How are you mentally after the toughest fight of your career?

KF: I’m good; I’m good! I see that fight as a big learning experience for me to improve and get better. I was doing a lot of things the wrong way. My body just really wasn’t healthy and I think that was a wake up call to ensure that I am healthy going into every fight. For the last year and a half or so I’ve been injured for every fight. A back injury is one of those things where you just can’t physically do certain things. It’s not a matter of just toughing it out; you just can’t do it. I just been getting stronger every day and proving a lot of things. My Jui Jitsu is better. I can train on the ground now without pain, I can punch and kick without pain. I can do it all now. I’m looking forward to hopefully people getting to see what I can really do.

PC: I’m sure you saw Mishima’s fight with Joe Stevenson. What do you think of him as a fighter?

KF: Mishima is a tough kid. He has a lot of experience, he’s very strong in the clinch, he’s good at takedowns and he’s very good at grinding out wins. He’s beat some very tough opponents. I think the one thing about Mishima is that he’ll be doing really well and then he’ll make a big mistake. After each mistake, I will be looking to capitalize. I think his striking is a little weak; he’s a little wild on his feet. He’s unorthodox. I’m looking to expose that. I’m going to look to try and knock him out.

PC: This is definitely no pushover fight for you. Is this the kind of fight you think you needed to get you going back in there?

KF: I think so. I don’t want any easy fights. My goal is to fight the best guy and do whatever I need to do to prepare me for that title fight again. I want to get back on a roll and when people look back at the guys I’ve faced, I want them to be saying, “I want to see Kenny fight for the title again.” Whether it’s against Sherk or whoever has the belt at that time. I want me to really stand out as the number one contender. I want to be prepared for every fighter and I’m training all around and I’m ready for any fight that comes my way. Mishima is the first step and that’s a big step because he’s a very tough opponent. He’s a very tough opponent. I’m looking to get back in the swing of things and back in the win column.

PC: I’m sure you gained a ton of experience in that Sherk fight. Do you feel that will help you in a fight with a guy like Mishima who has a ton of experience?

KF: Yeah, definitely. I think Mishima will have a similar game plan. I think he’s going to look at that fight and he’s going to think I’m weak and I’m not very good at stopping the takedown. I think he’s going to go into this fight really confident. He needs this win really bad. After his last fight with Joe Stevenson, he’s looking to rebound strong. I think I learned a lot from that fight; what I needed to do to get better and be healthy. Mentally I just know it’s going to be tough for Mishima to be as good as Sherk. He’s not going to be able to put fourth the performance that we did for 5 rounds. I’m confident that I’m ready for everything that he’ll throw at me.

PC: 2 lightweights are the coaches for The Ultimate Fighter season 5. 2 lightweights are headlining the April 5th card. You have to be excited about the way the division is coming on?

KF: Definitely. Us little guys are starting to get a lot of credit now. People are starting to realize how exciting our fights are. In boxing, you’ll see more technical fights at the lighter weights and these shows are action packed. We’re technical fighter’s who will just go all out for all 3 or 5 rounds. It’s exciting to be part of the division and hopefully I’ll be leading the way.

PC: Both of you guys are good on the ground. What do you think the difference will be in this fight to separate the two of you?

KF: I think the difference is going to be wind; the cardio factor. It’s going to be who can push who more. It’s going to come down to heart and cardio. I know I have the heart and the cardio to push for 10 rounds at 5 minutes easy. I’ve never been in this type of shape ever and I’m ready to go all out for 15 minutes. I’m ready for whatever. I’m ready to bring him through hell.

PC: Sean Sherk will be fighting Hermes Franca next. Who do you like in that fight and why?

KF: Hermes is a tough guy, he’s a tough competitor and he’s got heavy hands, but I just think Sean Sherk has to be the favorite going into this fight. Hermes is a little smaller than Sean and I just think Sean has a little more experience. You could just never really count out Hermes in a mixed martial arts fight. I just think Sean has to be the favorite though.

PC: The main event of the fights on April 5th is Joe Stevenson taking on Melvin Gulliard. Who do you like in that fight and why? 

KF: That’s going to be a tough fight. I think it’s going to come down to who was training harder. Both guys are super talented fighters. I think I give the edge to Melvin on the feet, no doubt. He’s a very explosive fighter. On the ground I feel Stevenson has the upper hand, so it’s very exciting. At the same time Melvin’s got as good of wrestling, if not better wrestling, as Joe Stevenson. It’s going to be who can execute on the game plan. Can Joe get Melvin on the ground and can Melvin keep it on the feet and find Joe’s button.

PC: What did you think of UFC 68?

KF: It was awesome. I was there live for that event and it was impressive man. Randy Couture had the whole crowd on their feet. The guy is amazing. It’s a reason why he’s a hero to a lot of MMA fighters. Rich Franklin really came back strong. He looked real strong. I think he will give Anderson Silva a much tougher fight the second time around. I think that fight will be fireworks. Matt Hughes came back and looked like the old Matt Hughes. I think he still has a little work to do as far as finishing his opponents, but it looked like his takedowns were back and he was looking strong. We’ll see how he does against St. Pierre the 3rd time around as well.

PC: I appreciate your time Kenny. Is there anything you want to say in closing?

KF: I just want to thank the UFC for all they’ve done in my career. I want to thank all the fans and my sponsors, Sprawl fight shorts, Tourtellotte Solutions and NHB Gear.com.


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