Kenny Florian Interview

Kenny Florian has been a friend of OntheMat’s for a long time. He’s the quadruple threat: Jiu-Jitsu Fighter, Submission Grappler, MMA Fighter and Mop Boy (err referee) extraordinaireKenny Florian has been a friend of OntheMat’s for a long time. He’s the quadruple threat: Jiu-Jitsu Fighter, Submission Grappler, MMA Fighter and Mop Boy (err referee) extraordinaire. Kenny hails from Boston and earned his black belt under Roberto Maia. He recently released a DVD-R of a seminar which is garnering rave reviews (and is naturally available here at OntheMat), and we’re confident you’re going to be hearing a lot from Kenny in the very near future.

1. How long have you been training for, and under who?

Training BJJ for 7 years now. I have done most of my training in Boston but a lot of my training was done in Brazil at Gracie Barra as well.

2. How many of the clan Florian are there?

We are like the Brady bunch sans the astroturf lawn. There are six crazy Florian’s including myself.

3. What do you like better: BJJ with the gi, submission grappling without the gi, or MMA?

I love them all. My goal is to be well accomplished in all of them. I think it would be great to be a world champion at all of them.

4. Let’s talk about your recent fight with Drew Fickett. You were outweighed and out experienced, what were your thought leading up to and going through the match?

My original opponent Jamie Varner dropped out of the match so they came ot me with Drew Fickett, one of the top welterweights in the world. He was more experienced and heavier but I am confident in my abilities and I am always game for a challenge. I had only 3 fights before Fickett and Fickett’s record was 22-2.

We went out there and had a war. We went at each other on the feet and on the ground. I made a lot of mistakes and I let my emotions get the best of me. I did not do what I do best which is out think and out tech my opponent. I guess that is where the lack of experience came in. It still went to a split decision and Drew told me after the fight I was one of his toughest opponents. It was a great experience going against a great fighter like Drew and I learned so much from the loss and from him.

5. Have you applied for the UFC reality show?

Yes. Well . . . I guess I am not suppose to say anything yet. I am not saying I am on the show or not. People should know in late August who is going to be on the show.

6. What are your favorite grappling matches that you have been in?

My favorite tourney that I competed in has to be the US Grappling Pro 8-man tourney that I won. I have had some great matches in GQ and fighting in the Pan-Ams and Mundials has always been fun.

7. You have a great friendly rivalry with Shawn Williams, what do you think of him as a competitor?

Shawn Williams can go to hell for all I care. I call him Chicken Williams. LOL. Shawn is awesome and I consider him a friend. We have had some great fights in the past. I think we bring out the best in each other. His jiu-jitsu is technical and aggressive and he goes for it in his matches. I try my best to be like that as well which makes for some great matches. I love seeing him compete but just not on the same mat as me. There should be a clause for all grappling events. Shawn and Kenny can only meet in the finals of any jiu-jitsu or submission match.

8. Your seminar DVD came out great! What do you like about teaching?

I love teaching. I love seeing someone’s face light up when they get the technique right. Seeing someone pull off a move that I taught is one of the best things about being an instructor. When I am teaching, it is not work for me. IT is fun as hell and I am always happy to answer questions or help out. Jiu-jitsu can get confusing at times and if I can sort out the madness for some people, then it makes me happy.

9. Any up and coming students to watch out for?

Of course there is my brother Keith, Mike Pelligrino, Chris Pags de Pano, Jay Mansfield, Ikaro Silva and some other guys having been working hard lately and should be making some waves on the tourney scene soon. I hope to have my own academy soon where I can pass on my experience and dedicate more time to my students.

10. Where are the girls better, the US or Brazil?

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, “better” is such a tough word. I will try my best to be political here. Both are great. Right now, I have a Brazilian girlfriend so Brazil.

11. Do you think you look more like Derek Zoolander or Professor Frink (from the Simpsons)?

I see the Zoolander thing. I can replicate both pretty well.

12 Anyone you want to give a shout out to?

Thanks to my brothers Kirk and Keith. My boyz from Boston BJJ and Sityodtong Muay Thai. Special thanks to the best sponsors around, Sprawl Fightshorts ( and MKimonos ( Of course thanks to my boyz from OnTheMat for all the cool stuff they do for the sport.

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