“I’m very excited [to be fighting Gray Maynard at UFC 118 in Boston]. Having that hometown advantage is huge, just being at home and being comfortable with that arena and having my friends and family there will put me at ease. I can’t wait. I experienced the pressures of fighting near home at UFC 101 in Philadelphia. Having experienced that craziness, being aware of that and being able to control those aspects I learned at UFC 101 will help me a lot. Now knowing how to handle that stuff, I think I can just go in there and have fun. I just have to be careful with all the family and friends that show up at the fight and in the lead up to it… He’s gonna be the biggest lightweight I’ve ever gone up against. I definitely have my work cut out for me. I think I’m gonna have to rely on my movement. The best kind of wrestling is to never let the guy touch your legs. Aside from that, just being able to counter the singles and doubles and being able to take advantage of that will be huge. I’ve wrestled with guys who have competed at a much higher level than Gray. But he isn’t just a wrestler anymore. His striking has evolved a lot. You can see he’s very well trained. It’s not just his wrestling that I have to be worried about… My game plan is always to frustrate guys and get them to play my game. If you look at this fight on paper, he poses a lot of problems for me. People still talk about the Sean Sherk fight and that I have problems off my back, and those assessments are fair looking my past fights. I see it as a challenge. And this is the kind of fight I really want to have to end those questions. In my opinion, Gray is a bigger and better version of Sherk.”
This is very likely a bout to find the new number one contender at 155 pounds. Both men have been top contenders for some time with Maynard undefeated and Florian winning eight of his last nine bouts. Florian’s only recent loss was to the dominant BJ Penn back in Aug. of 2009.