Props: UFC 118 post-fight press conference (via MMA Fighting)
"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. 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.' 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. 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 the 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."
Some pretty strong words from UFC President Dana White on Kenny Florian's not-so-impressive performance last night at UFC 118 against Gray Maynard. No one likes to be known for not being able to produce in big spots, regardless of the job. While Florian's unanimous decision loss in his hometown of Boston to Gray may be more attributed to "The Bully's" dominant wrestling style than Kenny's nerves playing a role, an argument can be made that "KenFlo" just wasn't himself last night, and usually isn't when the stakes are at their highest. Anybody buying this theory that D.W. is selling? Or, was it just a bad style match up for Florian? Who thinks that Kenny will one day fight for the title again?