Kenny Florian wasn't supposed to be a fighter.
He was a smart kid. Focused, always smiling.
His parents, immigrants from Peru, preached hard work and education. That's how his father, Augustin, had become a surgeon. He wanted Kenny to be a lawyer. He also wanted his children to be able to defend themselves, though.
The Florians were essentially the lone Latino family in a neighborhood about 25 miles outside of Boston. Augustin had earned a black belt in judo and maintained a fierce loyalty for Latino boxers. Didn't matter if his man was 1-40.
The Perfect Storm: Alexander-Irvin
It has become a grossly overused phrase, so much so that its mere utterance causes readers to cringe at its mind-numbing regularity in our sporting lexicon.
But every once in a great while, the stars really do properly align and that special mix of elements actually comes together to form the perfect storm—an awe-inspiring hurricane that wreaks unmatched havoc on the environment, leaving a lasting trail of carnage in its wake.
Many fans watch the Ultimate Fighting Championship hoping to witness just such a perfect storm inside the Octagon. They want to see “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler versus Tommy “Hitman” Hearns inside a cage. Better yet, they want to see Chuck Liddell versus Wanderlei Silva end in a knockout.
Houston Alexander Reader Q&A
MMAjunkie.com: With you having the big win over Keith Jardine, he's got the big fight coming up with Wanderlei Silva. What's your take on that fight? (from reader "Bushswinger")
Houston Alexander: Should be an interesting fight. I think Wanderlei is going to want to get inside, and Keith's not going to try to give him the opportunity to do that. If Keith can do the same thing he did against Liddell, he's got a great chance. That's a tough call. Both of those guys have a puncher's chance. It should be an interesting fight.
MMAjunkie.com: I know you never want to talk too much about specific strategy or specific gameplan, but can you comment on what we should expect to see from you guys this fight? Are we going to see anything different? (from reader "Riley")
Mick Doyle: Expect to see gogoplatas and flying armbars.
Joe Lauzon one IT guy you don't want to anger
A word of warning to office workers everywhere: The next time you feel the urge to curse the geeky-looking IT guy you think caused your laptop to crash, breathe deeply and avoid the smart-alecky comment.
The Mister Peepers-looking guy could be another harmless nerd, but, then again, he could also be Joe Lauzon.
Lauzon is the baby-faced one-time network administrator who looks like he's still in junior high but fights like he's the toughest guy on the block.
Which, in most cases, it turns out he is.
UFC Angling For an ABC Deal?
With EliteXC readying its blockbuster cards on CBS and Strikeforce getting some late-night love from NBC, the UFC is running out of major networks to sign with. But if the latest “informed speculation” turns out to be true, we could eventually see some Octagon fights on ABC. MMAPayout passes along this unconfirmed report:
The UFC and ESPN are discussing a potential strategic partnership. Representatives from each company reportedly met for what were described as extensive discussions last week in New York and Bristol, Connecticut. While Spike is the official cable home of the UFC, there is no longer an ABC Sports division, only ESPN on ABC, leading to speculation that such a partnership could lead to live events on ABC.
Kurt Pellegrino – Batman Battles Back
When it comes to competing and fighting, Kurt Pellegrino blames everything on his father. That’s just fine in the lightweight contender’s eyes, as fighting has become more than just a hobby or an outlet – it’s a way of life and the way he supports his wife and daughter.
“My father taught me to become a winner,” said Pellegrino. “He said it’s all right to lose, but it’s better to win. In fact, me and my dad had a long talk about that, and I told him ‘I am the way I am because of you and it’s a good thing and I’m happy about it.’”
Frankie Edgar – Laying it on the Line
Motivation. It comes in different forms for different people in vastly different situations. For rising lightweight star Frankie Edgar, it can hit him on his daily drive to the gym.
“You drive past a construction site and it’s raining and its cold out, and I don’t want to be there,” laughs the former union plumber, whose success in the UFC in the past year has allowed him to put his day job to the side and become a full-time fighter.
And every time he gets reminders of the rigors of the 8 to 4 life in the plumbing business, he works that much harder in the gym so he won’t have to return there. But to him, fighting isn’t work.
UFN Conference Call Recap
UFC held the conference call for Wednesday's UFN today in Denver. Kenny Florian & Joe Lauzon were the featured guests.
No Dana, busy on another call. Anyone think he's talking to Fedor's management?
‘Shogun' Recuperating After Surgery
Mauricio Rua is recovering in Brazil after surgery a few weeks ago on his knee.
"The surgery was very quick, lasted 50 minutes, was quiet," Rua told Sherdog.com. "Now I hope for healing and I think here in about two months I can return to training slowly, very cautiously."
The Brazilian light heavyweight ruptured the ACL in his left knee while preparing at his academy for a bout against Chuck Liddell . "Shogun" said he had tried to explode into a maneuver while training with Vitor Miranda , and his knee moved strangely.
"Depending on my recovery, I think that I can fight again in September or October," Rua said. "We always talked with Dana White and also would like to thank him because the UFC offered me a doctor, a physical therapist -- all to get me help. They have been very attentive with me."
Anthony Johnson – Ready to ‘Rumble’
If you’re looking for similarities between welterweight adversaries Anthony Johnson and Tommy Speer, you can find plenty of them on the surface – both are farm-raised, both have wrestling backgrounds, both are short on world-class experience but long on potential. Yet when the bell rings on Wednesday night in Colorado, Johnson believes his power may be the one thing that separates the two prospects now and forever.
Tommy Speer Begins his Post-TUF Career Wednesday Night
By its very nature, fighting is a solitary sport. When the bell rings, you don’t have other team members in the Octagon with you, helping you achieve victory. There is no one to blame, nowhere to run. On the other hand, any fighter will tell you that while you may enter competition alone, it is a team effort to get you to that point, with trainers, training partners, nutritionists, conditioners, and managers all doing their part to get you ready to fight.
UFC: Sylvia out, Fedor in?
UFC president Dana White said the company had released one big-name heavyweight from his contract while admitting interest in arguably the biggest heavyweight name of all.
White said the UFC released former heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia from his contract with one fight remaining on it. The move made Sylvia a free agent and he is expected to sign a contract with M-1 Global, where he would be teamed with his agent, M-1 Global chief executive officer Monte Cox.
Report: UFC 85 to air on pay-per-view (PPV)
UFC 85 from the O2 Arena in London, England, on June 7, will be a pay-per-view (PPV) event, according to the most recent print edition of the Wrestling Observer newsletter.
Dave Meltzer reports that he has received confirmation from the organization, which contradicts a recent statement from Rashad Evans that indicated it would air for free on SpikeTV.
Look for UFC 85 to be marketed heavily with a 10 p.m. ET PPV start time, which will be on tape delay, and the LIVE broadcast to be available earlier on Saturday afternoon.
That’s how the last few UFC shows abroad have worked, anyway.
UFC 85 also features that heavyweight showdown between Fabricio Werdum and Brandon Vera, as well as a dynamite welterweight match up between Mike Swick and Marcus Davis
Guida looking to go 4 for 4 in 2008
Thomas Gerbasi, UFC - It had everything you want to see in a fight – skill, intensity, heart, and most importantly, drama. But when it’s over, there can only be one winner, and on December 8, 2007, the man with his hand raised wasn’t Clay Guida.
Tim Sylvia and Ben Rothwell Sign with Adrenaline MMA
Former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia (24-4), a longtime UFC fighter whose relationship with the organization was oftentimes rocky, has left the organization and signed with Adrenaline MMA -- the promotion previously known as M-1 Global.
Adrenaline MMA CEO Monte Cox announced that former IFL stand-out heavyweight Ben Rothwell (29-5) has also signed with the organization, which is working toward a June 14 show in Chicago
Houston Alexander – Moving Forward
No excuses. That’s all Houston Alexander will give you when it comes to his first UFC loss last November to Thiago Silva. No talk of woulda, coulda, shoulda; no pointing of fingers at anyone other than the man in the mirror. It’s not what you expect from any pro athlete these days, but the Nebraska resident is anything but stereotypical.
“A loss is a loss and you shouldn’t have to make an excuse for it,” said Alexander of the first round TKO defeat at UFC 78. “I should have done something to prevent it.”
Josh Neer – The Dentist is In
He won’t talk your ear off, do backflips in the Octagon, or make the daily papers for some outrageous antics. Josh Neer just fights. But that’s just fine with UFC fans who have clamored for the hard-nosed Iowa banger to return to the organization after an absence of almost 20 months.
And in his typically understated manner, he’s happy to be back.
“It feels good,” said Neer. “It’s just a different atmosphere in the UFC, and in these smaller shows it’s just not the same.”
Davis vs. Swick Set For UFC 85
Rumors of a Marcus Davis-Mike Swick fight at UFC 85, circulating since February, now appear to be true. Both sides have confirmed today that they have signed for the fight and it now appears to be official.