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Steve Cofield

Florian interview: Gives Sanchez little shot at beating Penn

Steve Cofield

After going four hard rounds with B.J. Penn and falling short, Kenny Florian isn't sure who's going to take down the UFC lightweight king. He doesn't think that Diego Sanchez, who is likely to get the next shot, has much of a chance:

"I don't think he has the striking to get it done," Florian told ProMMARadio's Larry Pepe. "I don't think he has the wrestling to get it done. He has phenomenal cardio, phenomenal heart, great ground skills, but I think he's going to have some trouble with B.J. I just think B.J.'s going to be a little bit too much for him. I expect B.J. to win."

Florian, who lost to Sanchez back in 2005 during The Ultimate Fighter I Finale at 185 pounds, thought he was right in the fight with Penn. Pepe agreed saying he had Penn up 2-1 entering the fourth round. Florian said he was told by a Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission member that at least one judge had him leaing the fight. I'm not even sure how folks gave Florian a single round. Florian was 0-for-9 working for takedowns and consistently got the worst of the standup including when the fighters separated from their meetings along the cage.

Florian (11-4, 9-3 UFC) did admit his standup was lacking. He was surprised that the nine months between fights took its toll:

"Being away has always caused me some problems. With the striking aspect it's hard. I found that I couldn't get my range and my timing going, felt I wasn't effective there."

Florian said he made a big error in the fourth:

"The mistake was me not being able to pin my legs against the fence when he shot in. He was able to get behind my legs and get a nice double-leg. Pretty much if you're on your back with B.J. it's going to be very difficult."

Florian said if he ever gets a rematch with Penn, his wrestling has got to improve. The loss also convinced him that he needs to get a regulation Octagon to work in before future fights.

Listen here to the entire 25-minute conversation with Florian.

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