Kenny Florian learned a few things about himself and his fight preparation in the wake of his loss to Sean Sherk at UFC 64 for the vacant lightweight title back in October 2006.
(And no, it wasn't that he needs to look both ways before crossing the Octagon.)
Here's a snip from his recent email newsletter:
"I learned greatly from my lightweight championship battle against Sean Sherk. Since then I have added some amazing coaches and made many other changes. Now, I am hungrier, wiser and more skilled.
Mishima will be a tough opponent. He will not go down easy. Mishima has a fighting style similar to Sherk. Thus, he will likely try to use his experience and strength to control me.
This fight will demonstrate that I can stifle this type of game plan. I do not fight for the judges' decision. From start to finish, I will smartly and tenuously work to finish Mishima. Over the next few days, I will be mentally preparing for this task. When Thursday night comes, I will be more than ready."
According to the Houston Chronicle, Florian hired a full-time strength and conditioning coach to get his back healthy and to improve his overall fitness level. And, he has been drilling takedown defense, which was the primary reason for his lopsided loss to Sherk.
Here's a snip from Zoolander:
"I've been working on adjusting my stance, posture and fighting style to deal with takedowns. It was no mystery that Sean Sherk was good at takedowns, and it was something that I was working on prior to the fight. But, I've really adjusted to where I am a lot more efficient now. I've changed my drills and a lot of my strength and conditioning training sessions revolve around that."
With all the drama between Diego Sanchez and Josh Koscheck, as well as the feud between Joe Stevenson and Melvin Guillard, Florian isn't getting much attention for his upcoming fight this Thursday. That's because he is expected to win ... even against the extremely dangerous Dokonjonosuke Mishima.
Florian is prepared and confident ... as he should to be. We know he's got the heart and determination to hang with the top fighters in the division.
Now, he just needs to put it all together on April 5 at UFC Fight Night 9 to start the difficult climb back to the top of the division.
It should be fun to watch.