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UFC 87 Review

    Fri, 2008-08-15 15:41 — Kenny Florian

    I can't thank my fans enough for their support.

    I can't thank my fans enough for their support. After the Joe Lauzon fight, my schedule was jammed packed with commitments: From my co-hosting role at ESPN's MMA Live Show, to the seminars I was leading, to the many appearances I was making. Plus, I have been preparing to open the Florian Martial Arts Center with my brother Keith.

    Training camp went very well despite all of these activities. It gave me a sense of great confidence and focus knowing I could handle all of these responsibilities and still train at a high level. My management team really was great with all of this and I wouldn't be able to handle it all without them. Big thanks goes out to Ron Weinberg, Raffi Nahabedian and Joe Cavallaro.

    Hopefully, you guys got the whole "yellow suit thing" for my entrance. If you didn't, that was my ode to the great Bruce Lee, who wore that yellow track suit in his last film "Game of Death" before his passing. I grew up watching his movies and then later as an adult was inspired by reading many of his books and philosophies. He is a martial artist with a revolutionary mind, who may very well have created mixed martial arts as we know it. Thank you to One More Round Clothing who designed that suit for me.

    The game plan for Roger was to keep him guessing throughout the fight and attack and counter with various techniques. From watching Roger warm up and from hearing how he had stepped up his training with George St. Pierre, Nate Marquardt, Greg Jackson's team, and a new boxing coach, I knew it was going to be the best Roger Huerta we had seen.

    We wanted to keep him off balance and frustrate him by being in and out and avoiding the brawl. I wanted to sting him and by the time he wanted to strike back, I would be gone. I wanted to try and pick him apart with a variety of techniques to confuse him. Based on the great training I had received for this fight, I was confident that I was going to show that I was better in every aspect of MMA.

    While I feel there were things that I could have done better, for the most part, I was successful with the game plan. After this fight I can actually say "I finish fights" and not be lying. I went a full 15 minutes and finished the whole fight and still won. :)

    I have to thank the following people who helped me train for this fight. First to my masters from Boston: Keith Florian was a great Roger Huerta in training. Keith was huge in helping me formulate my game plan and breaking down Roger's game via many hours of video research. I am so glad Keith is my brother and coach, because he will pick my opponents game apart piece by piece and find a way to beat it every time.

    Mark DellaGrotte keeps my striking game sharp all the time. The confidence he gives me with my game is huge and he is given me a lot of weapons over the years. Both him and Keith put it all together for me so well and are simply MMA coach extraordinaires.

    Peter Welch and Tommy Connors (my boxing coaches) played a huge role in this fight as well. My hands and feet were a big part of this game plan and without them, I would be lost. Footwork was gonna be the difference in this fight and they really helped me with this. I hope to show even more of what they showed me for next time and no doubt these two boxing brains will take me to the next level once again. Kevin Kearns was crucial in getting me in the best shape of my life for this fight.

    I never felt stronger, quicker or in better shape. With his help and with the help of my nutritionist and cardio coach Jesse Kropelnicki, we were able to get to new levels with my strength and conditioning. Kevin played chef down in Minneapolis as well and helped me tremendously with weight management.

    Scott Rehm is a good friend who I brought out as well who helped my mind and spirit prepare for this battle. He too is a very important part of my eclectic coaching staff. Few people prepare fully for fights and Scott was a much needed missing link in helping me attain optimal levels for competition.

    Muzzafar "The Moose" Abdurakmanov really helped me with my wrestling. After dealing with his pressure, speed and flawless technique in sparring, I knew nobody would feel tougher than him. I was able to outwrestle Huerta and take him down in every round without giving up any takedowns myself, thank you Moose!!

    UFC fighter Kurt Pellegrino was great for sparring and sharing. He was a great help in many aspects and a big thank you goes out to him. I will be in his corner at UFC 88 in Atlanta.

    I also was inspired by the presence of Kru Toy (head trainer at Sityodtong in Thailand) who was at my fight. He has trained many great and famous champions in Thailand and he provided important guidance and information for this fight. I was honored to have him there.

    Of course many thanks to all of my training partners at Sityodtong in Boston, these guys are always pushing me and motivating me to give my best. I also want to thank the guys down at Peter Welch's F-15 Training Center in South Boston for their help with sparring and training.

    For those that did not hear my after fight speech regarding the sudden passing of Jorge Rivera's daughter Jessica, it is a very difficult time right now for Jorge and his family as they try to make sense out of this unexpected tragedy. Burial fees and medical expenses are significant and whatever help you can provide is very much appreciated.

    Support can be mailed to:
    USMMA
    316 Hartford Ave.
    Bellingham, MA 02019

    **If you are writing a check please make it out to Jorge Rivera. Thank you so much**

    Please support my sponsors who made it possible for me to train hard for this fight. TapOut, One More Round Clothing, VersaClimber, Kershaw Knives, OTM Fight Shops, Driftaway Day Spa and Zebra Mats. Thanks for all the amazing support and stay tuned for more news from KennyFlorian.com.

    Stay with the Flo,

    -Kenny

    KennyFlorian.com
    FlorianMartialArtsCenter.com
    myspace.com/kenflo

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