Kenny Florian had high hopes of claiming a third title shot at UFC 118, but after failing to overcome Gray Maynard the Boston native once again finds himself falling at the last hurdle.
“I’m very disappointed,” Florian said afterwards. “I really worked on my wrestling. I wasn’t successful there and that was the difference. I expected him to try and take me down near the ends of the rounds. I wasn’t able to stop it. It was really frustrating. He wasn’t engaging, he wasn’t engaging [and] I chased him and that opened me up to the takedown.”
Despite his disappointment Florian remained humble in defeat in a message to his fans and opponent on twitter.
“Thanks for the support everyone. Before I knew it, the fight was over. Wasn’t my night. Congrats to Maynard on a well fought match.” – Kenny Florian
After the fight a number of fighters in the UFC rallied round the popular fighter.
“@kenny_florian it’s ok bro! U r still 1 of the best. Just gotta look @ what happened n learn. U r the better fighter, just lost points.” – Nathan Marquardt
“@Kenny_Florian your my hero and I would rather lose like a champion then win like a loser u fought to win!!! – Kurt Pellegrino
“@Kenny_Florian Still my favorite fighter-keep your head up bro, you will be a champ one day!” – Jake Ellenberger
Even Florian’s ESPN sidekick Franklin McNeil got in on the act.
“@Kenny_Florian: I still believe in you.” – Franklin McNeil
Not everyone was quite so complimentary though. UFC president Dana White was left scratching his head at another performance from Florian that failed to live up to his potential.
“I guarantee you if Kenny comes back and fights one of the mid-level guys, he’ll probably run through them like a freight train. But the big fights? He crumbles man,” White said following the event.
A day on from the fight today 34 year-old Florian today took to twitter and vowed to come back stronger once again.
“Lucky to have fans like u guys. I trained hard but need to train harder. Making plans now so I can take my game to where it needs to be.” – Kenny Florian