Kenny Florian: UFC 167 Controversy Taking Away From A Classic Fight
Former three-time title contender and UFC color commentator Kenny Florian is among the minority in the MMA media who believes that UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre deserved to go home with the belt after his controversial title defense against Johny Hendricks at UFC 167.
“Everyone’s been saying I’m crazy and I’m biased. Now, I could be a little bit biased– obviously this is my former training partner and my buddy, and I always do my best to try to take away that bias,” Florian said on an episode of mmajunkie radio.
Florian has trained with St. Pierre in the past at Tristar Gym, and thought the champ won the first, third, and fifth rounds, exactly how judges Sal D’Amato and Tony Weeks scored the fight.
Watching it live, I feel like the controversial round is the first round, and I had it for GSP,” Florian said. “I had it 1, 3 and 5 for GSP. That’s the way I had it when I called it live.”
“It’s so difficult watching it live… The first was close, and the third round, Johny got that takedown. Georges was able to get back to his feet,” Florian said. “But I think the fight statistics show the first round was the closest. They each got a takedown. But I’m glad I’m not a judge, let’s put it that way.”
Florian said he felt the tension was palpable before the fight, and said “you knew something big was going to happen. It just kind of had that feel in the arena.”
Florian believes that the controversy takes away from the fact that it was a classic fight against two true champions.
“It was such an amazing fight that I feel like the controversy over the decision is taking away from how great of a championship fight that was and how great of a night that was,” Florian said. “Both men performed like champions in this one, and both men were truly, truly tested.”