Kenny Florian open to a rematch with Diego Sanchez

Former middleweight finalist from the first season of The Ultimate Fighter, Kenny Florian, stated on the most recent edition of ESPN.com’s “MMA Live” that he’d be open to the possibility of a rematch against the man who beat him in the final, Diego Sanchez.

“I don’t want to fight Diego Sanchez to get revenge,” Florian said while responding to an e-mail question from a viewer. “I want to fight him because he’s a great fighter coming down to 155. I try to forget about my wins (and) forget about my losses and just move forward. Diego Sanchez being the great fighter that he is coming down to 155  — it’s exciting to me. I get a chance to fight a great fighters and that’s why I’d like the fight.”

After Sanchez and Florian fought at the TUF 1 finale on April 9, 2005, the two fighters went their separate ways with Sanchez dropping to welterweight and Florian eventually migrating to lightweight. However, it was confirmed in recent weeks that Sanchez will be dropping from 170 pounds to 155 pounds for his next bout.

Sanchez, 19-2, last competed in the main event of the live finale for the seventh season of TUF this past June, where he TKO’d Luigi Fioravanti at 4:07 of round 3. He had been scheduled to face Thiago Alves at UFC 90 on Oct. 25 but was forced to pull off the card due to injury.

Florian, 11-3, is undefeated in his last six fights with his latest victory coming at UFC 91 in November, where he submitted Joe Stevenson at 4:03 of round 1. After the fight, UFC President Dana White confirmed that Florian is still next in line for the next lightweight title shot.

B.J. Penn is currently the promotion’s 155 pound champ but he is set to challenge for the UFC welterweight title against incumbent Georges St. Pierre at UFC 94 on Jan. 31. If Penn is victorious, his next fight would be a welterweight title defense against Alves, meaning that the lightweight title would remain in a state of limbo. However, it’s also possible that Penn would vacate the 155 pound championship if he becomes the new welterweight champion.

15 COMMENTS
  • jj says:

    its unlikely the ufc would allow one fighter to tie up 2 belts for what would most likely be 2 fights a year. the ufc seems incapable of putting on super-fights that could successfully replace a main event title fight, so bj would most likely be vacating the lightweight belt as you mentioned.

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  • benjamink says:

    when bj wins in january he will vacate the LW title. He has nothing to prove there.
    if florian or whoever beats sherk we will talk, but until then….

    yours,

    benji

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  • Aj-train says:

    If diego and florian had a rematch i honestly see it goin fairly similar to the first one. Im not a fan of either fighter but if its not bj who destroys florian it may as well be diego. I see it bein bj beating kenny though cuz i dont think gsp will lose to bj.

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  • Nick says:

    it’s a moot point since bj isn’t winning in january…..
    just a matter of how quickly he would want to defend against florian.

    i hope he doesn’t have to sit too long or fight one more time and risk losing before his shot.

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  • Mike Wolfe says:

    I don’t see any reason why BJ would have to vacate the light weight belt if he beats GSP. BJ wants to be a legend, and successfully defending two belts simultaneously would put him in that category.

    Moving back to the subject of the article, I’d love to see Florian and Sanchez fight. Both have dramatically improved since TUF. I wonder how enthusiastic Sanchez will be, however. Florian is a bad match up for him, especially in his first fight in a new weight class.

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  • egad81 says:

    At lightweight I see Florian winning by decision or submission.

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  • Jye says:

    If he wins the welterweight belt he should vacate the lightweight belt. BJ’s said before that he only wants to fight 2 -3 times per year so who honestly wants to see either the LW or WW belts (or both) being defended only once per year. That puts a hold on two of the most competitive divisions in the UFC.

    I wish BJ had just stayed at LW I think it sucks Florian has had to wait this long for a shot. He’s been the definitive number one since August and he probably won’t get a shot until April – May at the least (Alves is in the same boat too). That’s BS

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  • CaptainAmerica1967 says:

    I heard that GSP wants to move to middleweight and El Madador wants to move up to welterweight.

    Everyone seems to be moving around. Anderson Silva only has next year before he said he will retire, but mentioned moving up to 205 although he doesn’t want to fight his partner Machida.

    Bisping has moved down to middleweight. Franklinhas moved to 205, but the winner of the next fight between Franklin and Henderson will coach against Bisping on the TUF at middleweight.

    I’d personally like to see larger differences between weight classes. The heavyweight class is such a big range and maybe lightheayweight should be up to 220lbs. Maybe even a superheavyweight for those who cannot possibly make 265lbs.

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  • THORAZINE says:

    Sanchez VS Florian would be interesting at 155lbs, in a sense Diego would be going down to Kenny’s best fighting weight instead of going up to diego’s at 170. I also think Florian has improved a lot more than Sanchez, I see Florian winning this one by a narrow margin.

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  • Greg Jarvis says:

    Ken Flo all the way if this one happens!!! KenFlo will be world champion soon! Much respect KenFlo… Much respect Dellagrotte!!! Kenny has developed into such a sick fighter!!

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  • Scott says:

    Regardless of who will be fighting who, for which ever belt, I just love Florian’s attitude. Very respectfull, and very humble, and at the same time, he’s politely saying “bring it on”, I’ll fight anyone.

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  • portland mma says:

    I agree Scott, at first for some reason following the first season of TUF there was something about Florian I didn’t like, well I guess i hated the fact he had huge gaps in his stand up. He had good BJJ and knew how to throw a razor sharp elbow but once he improved his stand up with Mark Delagrotte you could see his confidence grow. I’m a big fan of Florian now and I’d really love to see him fight Sherk again. Sherk pretty much handled him with one arm and I think K Flo is a completely different fighter since then.

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  • freedom fighter says:

    benjamink your on crack buddy bj penn is the most over rated bum on the planet and when he gets his ass handed to him by gsp he will have to face ken-flow in which he again will get his ass handed to him.i’m not saying he’s no good he is just not that good anymore too much time in between .

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  • Cuppa says:

    Diego vs. Sherk and winner gets Ken-Flo, if Penn takes too long to fight. In my opinion GSP will beat Penn and all things will return to normal.

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  • Perfecto says:

    Diego should stay at welter he is in top 5 or better and although may not be able to take out GSP (who can?) still is close to a title shot. Koscheck barley squeked out a win with his hit and run style against Diego, Kos was scarred. As soon as they started to grappel, Diego had his back and then the bell rang. The next thing you know koscheck just kept his distance and never did anything good.

    After GSP kills the hawaiian-american he should go after to Anderson Silva.

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