MMA Fighting has three paragraphs worth of Dana White saying Kenny Florian choked last night:
“I hate to say this because I don’t want to take anything away from Gray Maynard, but I think Kenny is just one of those guys who chokes in big fights,” UFC president Dana White said. “I’m not bad-mouthing him or trying to disrespect him; I’m just being honest. Every time it’s a big fight and there’s a lot of things on the line, Kenny just … Kenny’s hands are unbelievable. Kenny’s ground is unbelievable. Kenny usually kicks guys to the body and legs so hard that he busts guys up. You didn’t see any of that tonight. He stood there and stared at Gray Maynard for three rounds.”
“You’d think his corner would say, ‘Dude, you just lost the first two rounds.’ No sense of urgency in the third round,” White said. “Not saying, ‘I need a knockout or submission in this round.’ None of it. Nothing. And I guarantee you if Kenny comes back and fights one of the mid-level guys, he’ll probably run through them like a f—ing freight train. But the big fights? He crumbles, man.”
“I love Kenny Florian, I’ve known him since season one of The Ultimate Fighter,” White said. “He’s one of the best fighters in the world, but in the big fights, he chokes in the big fights. He’s here in his hometown, another shot at title and he sits in front of Gray Maynard for three rounds. He couldn’t let anything go. Gray Maynard fought his fight, did what he wanted to do, and dominated him tonight.”
All I can add is Florian became the latest guy to zone out waiting for takedowns that never came when he expected them. And Maynard STILL took him down, if not quite at will then with only a medium level of bother. Kenny came into this fight saying his wrestling was going to be better and all that GSP gym time was going to keep him on his feet. But he never bothered to do anything while he was there and he learned that stuffing a hundred shots in practice is a lot different than trying to keep a dude from dragging you down three or four times over 15 minutes.
(pic via MMA Fighting’s UFC 118 gallery, which is now chock full of fighty goodness)