I would like to start this post by saying I believe Kenny Florian has improved leaps and bounds since the time he spent on TUF. He has improved his skillsets in all areas and his conditioning is as good as anybodys in mma today.
Currently Kenny Florian sits as the #2 lightweight in the world on the USATODAY/SBN rankings which is where my beef starts. Without a doubt Florian is a top of the heap lightweight who derserves recognition among the best but he is not #2 in the world. This is another case of a high profile upcoming bout inflating someones position (undersevingly) in the rankings.
I stated my opinion now ill back it up with some numbers. Although hes riding an impressive 6 fight win streak, Kenny has never defeated elite opposition. The only time Kenny fought an elite lightweight (Sherk) he lost. The highest ranked fighter he defeated was Joe Stevenson who is ranked #17. How is the guy ranked #2 in the world when he has'nt defeated any fighter in the top 15? His other notable win was over Roger Huerta who in ranked #23. I think Florian should be ranked #6 behind Aoki, Alvarez,Sherk, and Hansen. Eddie Alvarez has wins over #5 Hansen and #7 Kawajiri. Aoki also beat #5 Hansen and #4 Alvarez. Hansen is coming off a win over #3 Aoki that won him the DREAM LW GP. Sean Sherk obviously defeated Florian aswell as Tyson Griffin (#14) who is ranked higher than anyone Kenny ever beat. You know what all 4 of these guys have in common? They all have victories over top 15 opponents! How is Kenny ranked above all these fighters who either have wins over top 5 opposition or defeated him, when he has never beat anyone in the top 15?
The other beef I have with his ranking is the style of his opposition. Kenny has never beat anyone in the group of lightweights I like to call "wrestlers row. These are the elite wrestlers of the lightweight division and I believe you must defeat atleast one of these guys if not two. Wreslers row consists of Sherk,Griffin,Edgar,and Maynard. All 4 of these guys have smothering top control and are straight up bullies on the mats or in the cage. I would feel alot more comfortable about Kennys ranking and title shot if he even defeated one of these guys to get where he's at.
At the end of the day Kenny Florian is a superb fighter with awesome well rounded skills. He's got nasty elbows, great kicks, slick submisisons, and vastly improved wrestling. He went on a 6-0 tear over 2 years in the UFC which is an amazing accomplishment in itself. But make no mistake about it, Kenny Florian IS NOT the number 2 lightweight fighter in the world!