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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.


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