These days, Kenny Florian gets paid to discuss, analyze, preview and predict fights.
The former UFC fighter who began as a 185-pound middleweight on Season 1 of "The Ultimate Fighter" in 2005 and finished as a 145-pound featherweight retired in 2011 and now occupies a chair on the set of Fuel TV's "UFC Tonight" every Tuesday.
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The next three weeks of UFC talk will revolve around middleweight champion Anderson Silva, the best fighter in MMA history, and his opponent at UFC 162 -- Long Island native Chris Weidman. Silva (33-4), undefeated in 17 UFC fights, will defend his title against Weidman (9-0) on July 6 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
First up, the discussion:
"I truly believe that Weidman is going to be his biggest challenge," Florian told Newsday earlier this month. "Because you have a guy who can take you down but at the same time, he has a tremendous ground and pound game. He has excellent submissions as well. His D'Arce jokes, those kinds of varities of guillotines, can pose a lot of problems for Anderson Silva."
Second, the analysis:
"His takedowns are tremendous, and he's got a better submission game than Chael [Sonnen]. That's just the truth. And you look at what Chael did to Anderson Silva -- over two fights, he won five to six rounds. He won. Not just kind of slightly won. He dominated those rounds with his takedowns, his positioning. In the first round against Anderson Silva in the second fight, he took him down and got the mount position pretty easily. Chris Weidman is a beast on the mat, so Anderson Silva defintely has to be careful."
Third, the preview:
"On the feet, I don't think there's anybody in the world who can strike with Anderson Silva. That is clear. You trade with Anderson Silva too long and you're going to get knocked out. That's just the truth. He is the best to ever stand up in the Octagon, period. On the ground is where Chris Weidman needs to get this fight and that's where he can win it."
And finally, the prediction:
"I think he is a guy that a lot of people are overlooking in this. A lot of people think Anderson Silva is just going to go out there and smash him, but I don't think so. I think Chris Weidman really is going to give Anderson Silva problems. Right now, I have him as a guy that is probably going to win that fight."