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(EXCLUSIVE) Kenny Florian defends his commentary during Barboza vs. Pearson

This past Saturday night at UFC 134 in Brazil, UFC veteran and current #1 contender to the featherweight title Kenny Florian sat in the commentary booth alongside Mike Goldberg while his usual play-by-play partner Joe Rogan remained in the US to film Fear Factor.

No stranger to the headset having filled in for Rogan in the past, Florian provided insight and a perspective that only a fighter can. For example, Florian’s commentary on the style of Anderson Silva, comparing him to, “a computer who analyzes how his opponent moves, figures out their game, and then picks them apart from there” was a great analogy, and possibly proof that “The Spider” isn’t human after all.

However, “Ken-Flo” came under fire during the showdown between lightweights Edson Barboza and Ross Pearson. During the bout, Florian seemed to show favoritism towards the Brazilian lightweight, rarely crediting the Brit for his pressure and his boxing. Barboza won a split decision but listening to Florian on commentary, you would believe that Barboza won 30-25.

Florian recently spoke to about the criticism of his commentary and cleared up his thoughts on the fight.

“The way I saw it, I thought Ross fought brilliantly,” said Florian. “However, I just thought that Barboza was consistently throwing more punches and landing more shots. Ross did well in every round, but I had Barboza winning 29-28 pretty clearly.”

Florian further explained his point, telling exactly why he gave the nod to Barboza.

“I thought the knockdown, the variety of striking, and Barboza thwarting the takedowns of Pearson’s were the difference. By no means did he blow Pearson out of the water but I thought he won 29-28.”

Florian’s assessment was backed up by two of the three judges, who also saw the fight in favor of Barboza by the score of 29-28.

Back from Brazil and at home in Boston, Kenny now turns his attention towards an October 8 showdown with UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo.


  • Dufresne says:

    I’m not sure I understand why he had to come out and defend his commentary. Commentary is a personal opinion and while I didn’t agree with Florian’s calls, in the grand scheme of things it didn’t affect the bout at all. If anyone should ever come out to defend their calls it should be the refs and judges, they are the only ones that actually inluence the outcome.

    Besides, while Forian may have sounded a bit biased, it was no here near the most skewed viewpoint provided by a commentator. I still think that goes to Rashad for his commentary during Jardine v Rampage. At least the judges agreed with Florian.

    Yet again 5OZ pulls in the exclusive. You guys have been on roll lately. Keep up the good work.

  • Rece Rock says:

    Awesome exclusive! I hope the site and the writers/ editors get the credit they deserve…

  • Guthookd says:

    “…..Kenny now turns his attention towards an October 8 showdown with UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo.”

    ….RIP Kenny Florian….


  • fanoftna33 says:

    I still dont see how one fight at FW, where he won but got knocked down twice and couldnt finish or come close to finishing has Kenny the #1 guy at FW.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Great job on getting the exclusive interview though.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    i’m sure i heard barboza say
    bitch, back up off my tip cos your on it like a nat on a dogs dick

    kenny was slobbery over the Brazillian a little too much, he did restrain himself from jumpning in the cage and giving him a mid fight sponge bath, a la Frank Mir

  • climbarock says:

    Kenny did fine. He gave Pearson credit for pressuring Barboza a couple times. I had it 29-28 Barboza as well. Pearson looked good in defeat though.

    Kenny def. Aldo via Doctor Stoppage (Cut; elbows, GnP) b/t Rounds 4 and 5…you heard it here first 😉

  • Guthookd says:

    You’re fucking crazy, Rockclimber. Kenny gets KO’d round 1.

  • Angry Mike says:

    I think KenFlo survives all three rounds, but he doesn’t have the speed to keep up with Aldo. I think Aldo wins by unanimous decision.

  • Dangerous says:

    KenFlo is a good fighter but he’s not making it past round 3 against Aldo in their title fight….Aldo by vicious K O in rd 2

  • Guthookd says:

    “I think KenFlo survives all three rounds…”
    -Angry Mike

    5 round title fight.

  • Lord Faust says:

    I initially flip-flopped in how I perceived Kenny’s commentary during the fight. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact they are both muay thai students; so Barboza was “speaking Kenny’s language” so-to-speak.

    I also don’t think he has much to defend here, as Barboza did make the fight look like it was going his way far more than a keen observer might realize. And, thankfully, Florian gave Pearson his due; I think the guy fought valiantly and, of all the decisions to lose, this one was hardly shameful.

    If Kenny has to defend his commentary here, I’d expect Gus Johnson to be turning in his resignation.

  • Angry Mike says:

    Oops. He won’t make it out of the fourth.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Wow! What a scoop.

  • JabCrossHook says:

    I think it had to do with Edson three piecing Pearson making him look super slow with his boxing…

  • Rich S. says:

    Kenny did just fine, but I do remember thinking the fight was far closer than his commentary would have led us to believe. And, it did in fact end in a split decision.

    Barboza’s style is one that can really be appreciated and praised. When he opens up and strikes, it always has that deadly potential, and it’s always delivered with laser precision and lightning speed. So, I can see how a fellow fighter might get carried away admiring it.

    But, he did spend a lot of time backing up (waiting to counter, most definitely, but still) and all that time Pearson was moving forward with pressure.

    Barboza certainly won, but I was really impressed with Pearson’s total lack of fear and his iron chin. I wasn’t much of a fan when he was on TUF, but he’s one of my favorite lightweights right now.

    And as far as fighter/commentators go, Florian is probably my favorite.


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