Interview With Mixed Martial Artist Kenny Florian by Ben Tatar of CriticalBench.com
1) Critical Bench: O.K., then let's get the interview on! First of all
Kenny, Can you tell us about yourself?
Florian: I competed for 185lbs Middleweight contract on Season 1 of The
Ultimate Fighter (TUF) on SpikeTV and I came in 2nd place. I am currently a
Pro MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) Fighter. I also teach Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and
Mixed Martial Arts. I am from Boston, Massachusetts
I compete in the 155 lbs lighweight division or 170 lbs welterweight
division (currently competing in UFC at 170lbs welterweight division) I walk
around at 178lbs. My MMA record is 6 wins, 2 losses .
My history is:
Win via TKO, rnd. 1 over Nuri Shakir (Battle in Taunton)
Win via TKO, rnd. 1 over Jason Giroux (Mass Destruction 10)
Win via Submission, rnd. 1 over Bobby McAndrews (Mass Destruction 15)
Loss via Split Decision to Drew Fickett (Combat Zone USKBA Championship
Win via TKO, rnd. 2 over Chris Leben (Ultimate Fighter Season 1 Reality Show
Loss via TKO rnd. 1 to Diego Sanchez (Ultimate Fighter Season 1 Reality Show
Win via TKO, rnd. 2 over Alex Karalexis (UFC Ultimate Fight Night 2)
Win via submission over Kit Cope (Ultimate Fighter Season 2 Finale show
I am a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu from Gracie Barra, train in Muay
Thai out of the Sityodtong Camp and train boxing with Peter Welch. I
currently have a strength and conditioning coach who works hard to get me in
fight shape, not bodybuilding shape (as you can see, LOL) which is totally
different. I train 6 days a week, 2-3 times everyday regardless if I have a
fight coming up or not. I try to fit in Bikram yoga and other styles of Yoga
when I can and do different mental exercises to keep my mind sharp, clear
and ready for fight time. This is my job and I take it very seriously. I
currently train at Boston BJJ in Newton, MA,
*www.bbjiujitsu.com*(aka. Gracie Barra
Boston), and Sityodtong (
*www.sityodtong.com* ) in Somerville, MA.
I graduated from Dover-Sherborn Regional High School. And then I graduated
from Boston College with a Bachelor's degree in Communications and was a
part of the Pre-Law program. For family,I am one of 6 children. My parents
are from Peru in South America. However, I have a mix of Spanish, Italian,
German, French and Armenian blood. I speak Spanish, Portuguese and can get
by in the romance languages. Oh yeah, I speak a little English. ;)
2) Critical Bench: who are your favorite fighters?
Florian: My favorite UFC fighter is BJ Penn and my favorite pride fighter is
3) Critical Bench: Why did you think that the MMA was your calling?
Florian: It is the ultimate challenge and tests you mentally, physically and
spiritually. It is the toughest sport in the world and I wake up every
morning loving my job and enjoy improving as a fighter and as a person.
There is also a great passion that I have for wanting to master the skills
of fighting. That is my main focus but I will take the wins that come with
walking that path towards mastery.
4) Critical Bench: What did you do before becoming a full contact fighter?
Florian: I worked at a Translation Services Company where I was Senior
Project manager for the Financial Translation division. Pretty different
5) Critical Bench: Why did you compete at Middleweight (185 lb weight class)
in Season 1 of the Ultimate Fighter if you walk around at 170 lbs?
I took it as a challenge. It was an opportunity of a lifetime I could not
pass up. While I did not do as well as I would have liked, I learned a great
deal and became a better fighter because of it. I don't fight to inflate my
ego, I fight because I love it and want to be the best fighter that I can
6) Critical Bench: What does your tattoo say on the inside of your arm?
It is the kanji symbol for Bushido, (the way of the warrior or Samurai
code). It stresses the importance of honor, loyalty, humility, love for
family and most of all courage.
7) Critical Bench: Do you still stay in contact with the guys from the show?
Absolutely. I am good friends with Stephan Bonnar, Forrest Griffin, Alex
Karalexis and Josh Rafferty. I get to talk to other guys at events as well
like Mike Swick, Nathan Quarry, Chris Leben, and Alex Schoenhauer and
8) Critical Bench: What was it like in the TUF house?
It was intense training and became stressful at times but it was pretty fun.
There was NO TV, music, books, going out or time without cameras in your
face but I still thought it was pretty fun.
9) Critical Bench: What do you do besides train?
I teach some students on a private basis and conduct seminars and classes
all over the United States when I have the time. I try to read as much as
possible and hang out with my girlfriend and family when I can. I watch and
collect MMA events and I am pretty much a fight nerd. I love updating my
iPod with new songs and like to catch a new movie or rent some old movies.
Don't go out too often or else I get myself in trouble. ;)
10) Critical Bench: What does it take to be an MMA fighter?
There are many things. Most important things are qualities you can't see.
Tattoos and muscles won't make you an MMA fighter. You need amazing heart,
discipline and an incredible willingness to win. Then there is the whole
technical aspect that you must learn. You need to have excellent striking,
wrestling, grappling on the ground and you need to be strong and have great
cardio. These are things you must work on everyday. Just because you won
some street fights, was the town tough guy or took some karate, this does
NOT mean you can fight MMA or fight in the UFC for that matter. Even if you
were a sport BJJ or wrestling champ, this does not equal guaranteed success
in the MMA ring. If you really want to know what it is like then train hard
and compete in the ring. You will understand what it takes and you will be a
better man/woman because of it . . . hopefully.
Critical Bench: Any closing words?
Thank you for taking the time for doing the interview with me. Please visit
my website at www.KennyFlorian.com