UFC 136 – In Depth: Jose Aldo vs Kenny Florian


Preview by: Ragan McDaniel

Back when Strikeforce came to Houston last year, we introduced our in depth breakdown format. With UFC 136 approaching, we thought it would be a good idea to roll it out one again and give you an in depth breakdown of all the main card fights to give you an idea what to look for at the Toyota Center on Saturday night.

The “style vs. style” fight for the featherweight title.  Both are very similar but one packs youth and power and the other has size and strength.  Where this fight ends up is the key for both.  This matches up one of the most well rounded fighters in the UFC against one of MMA’s most lethal strikers.  Will Kenflo finally show up for a “big fight”?  We shall see…

Pictures courtesy of Sherdog.com and UFC.com

Jose Aldo Name Kenny Florian  
Junior Nickname KenFlo
5’7″ Height  5’10”
145 Weight 145
19-1 Record 16-5
Amazonas, Brazil Out Of Westwood, MA
Vs
Mark Hominick (W-U. Dec.)Manvel Gamburian (W-KO)Urijah Faber (W – U. Dec) Last Three Fights Diego Nunes (W- U. Dec)Gray Maynard (L-U Dec.)Takanori Gomi (W- Sub)
POWER:

Aldo has won 12 of 19 via KO or TKO.  He throws bombs with bot his hands and legs.  Florian has some strong and lethal elbows but needs to clinch or get to the ground, even though his Muay Thai is very underrated.  With Florian dropping to his 4th weight class in the UFC, he will be the biggest and strongest opponent Aldo has faced, but I still give the power advantage to Aldo because of his ability to finish a fight in the blink of an eye.

 check_advantage SPEED:

Aldo confuses his opponents with his lightning speed to the point that they don’t know where the attacks are coming from.  Aldo will use his quick and lethal leg kicks to take the speed out of Florian as the fight gets out of the first round.  Florian is not as “slow” as he looked against Nunes, but he doesn’t match the quickness of Aldo.


WRESTLING:

Florian will not want to stand and bang with Aldo, so he will use his wrestling and size to try and get the fight to the canvas quickly.  Aldo’s takedown defense is one of the best in the UFC but Florian will find a way to get Aldo down if he has any chance of winning.  I give a small advantage to Florian out of desperation.

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CLINCH:

Even though Florian usually wins via submission or decision, he does use the clinch to throw lethal knees and elbows.  Aldo prefers to strike from more of a distance while Florian excels in the clinch.  Florian will have a height and reach advantage which is also an advantage which he will try and use to push Aldo against the cage, clinch, then set up the takedown.  Both are superb in the clinch and this could be where the fight is won or lost for either fighter.  Another “slight” advantage.

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GROUND:

Both fighters are black belts in jiu-jitsu, but we haven’t witnessed much of that from Aldo.  We haven’t had to.  9 of Florian’s 14 wins have come by way of submission and is what he prefers, especially facing an assassin in Aldo.  Look for Florian to try and get the fight to the ground and then use his grappling skills to keep it there.  Even with that being said, it’s still not a huge advantage for Florian after seeing Aldo’s quick ground work against Hominick.  This is the closest category for both fighters.

 
check_advantage CARDIO:

Aldo is younger and faster.  His strikes take out the cardio of his opponents very quickly.  Florian seemed to get tired as the fight went on against Nunes, but Aldo also appeared gassed against Hominick as the fight wore on.  2 of Aldo’s last 3 fights have gone 5 rounds, both victories against cardio machines.  Also will use his speed advantage and sharp kicks to slow down Florian and take the wind out of his sail.

 

WINNER:

Aldo Def. Florian by TKO (RD 3)

SUMMARY:

These two fighters bring very similar styles to the cage, except Aldo is much more lethal.  Look for both fighters to feel the other out as the fight starts then Aldo will start his attack to chop down the taller and bigger Florian.  Once he does, he will start throwing with more power and determination as Florian has no answer.