Long time trainer Marc Dellagrotte confirmed the split through an interview with Fighter’sOnly.com stating, “There are no hard feelings. Me and Kenny have been good friends for a long, long time. We did good thing together. I think this is a good decision for both of us. I think he is going to do well, I think the people he is going with are some of the best in the world. It wasn’t a bad break or anything like that, it was just a mutual decision we made in order for us both to move forward. It was necessary for Kenny to move forward with his career and me to move forward as a coach.”
There have been rumors swirling about friction between the two during the training camp for Florian’s title campaign against Lightweight champion B.J. Penn. Even more discontent was the battle between Kenny’s brother Keith, and the legendary coach, “I have to stress that I have nothing negative to say towards Kenny or his brother. Its not his brother’s fault, it’s not my fault, its just one of things that happens in sports like this,” the Boston native says. “There has been a constant… ‘power struggle’ between me and his brother Keith. We never really got along – which is not anybody’s fault, some work well together and some don’t. We worked well together at first but over the last few camps and fights we put together, there were differences and I am just the type of guy that if I can’t steer the ship, if I can’t be the captain, I would prefer not to be on board.”
The power struggle over the two time challenger started when Kenny named his brother as head coach, and Dellagrotte knew the end was near, “I felt over the last couple of fights, I have not been able to be me or say what I wanted to say because I have not been in the position of head coach. Going into the BJ Penn fight, I really didn’t feel like I had all that much control over the camp. Over the last couple of fights in fact, since Kenny made it public that Keith was the head coach. I am a good leader, a good general, and I think my resume shows that. When I start to feel like my decisions aren’t important or not being taken seriously, it kind of detaches me from the situation. And if cant be really in control and really responsible for the outcome of the fight, I don’t want to be part of it any more.”
Leaving Sityodtong, Florian has now started training with Georges St. Pierre’s trainer, Firas Zahabi at the Tri-Star Gym in Montreal. He is set to take on Clay Guida at UFC 107 in December, as his first test with a new trainer.
It will be interesting to see how different of a fighter Florian can become removing himself from one of the best striking coaches in mixed martial arts, but it appears a strong bond will remain between Dellgrotte and his one time student, “Nothing but love for Kenny and his career and his family, I am still cool with everyone. Its not some boyfriend and girlfriend break up, you know? This kind of thing happens all the time in professional sports for various reasons. Me and Kenny had a very personal heart-to-heart conversation, we were commending each other on what we had accomplished. If he was with me right now I would be giving him a high-5, we did magical things together.”