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Old 06-06-2012, 09:28 PM
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Luke Thomas from MMAFighting.com adds his thoughts:

Quote:
In the wake of Kenny Florian's retirement, I felt it necessary to give praise to one of MMA's improperly viewed fighters. That is, nearly everyone agrees Florian was a supremely talented fighter, but failing to win titles in three attempts across two weight classes are the true defining moments of his career.

It's true it's impossible to ignore those shortcomings. They are part of his history. But undo focus on them really shortchanges a fighter of pretty remarkable accomplishment.

More than almost anyone in the modern era, Florian worked with an unparalleled diligence to consistently improve his skill set. It's true Florian's athleticism was always a touch underrated and his improvement is partly of function of what a good athlete he actually was. But there are very few fighters one can point to from Florian's generation or 'class' who developed into the final product he became given his starting point.

Every aspect of his game was sharpened. Those dimensions where he lacked severely in the early stages of his professional career ultimately became his strengths. Florian had weaknesses, too. No fighter is an android of perfect technique and execution, but the journey he traveled to position himself to win a title must've taken a will few among us can summon in any professional endeavor.

That he did what he did in MMA through the sweat of his brow and unfailing belief in himself is worthy of our highest praise and admiration. He unquestionably gave MMA everything he had and he did it year after year, fight after fight. We can ask for not one thing more from anyone who competes.
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