Kenny Florian Injured, Melvin Guillard vs Evan Dunham LikelyUFC lightweight contender Kenny “KenFlo” Florian has been forced out of his upcoming UFC Fight Night 23 bout with rising star Evan Dunham after suffering a knee injury in training. Hard-hitting striker Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard will now reportedly face Dunham on January 22nd. first reported on Florian’s withdrawal from the fight, while reported that Guillard will step in to face Dunham. Guillard was previously scheduled to battle Yves Edwards on the undercard of UFC Fight Night 23 and Edwards will now face TUF 12 alum Cody McKenzie.

Dunham (11-1-0) most recently competed at UFC 119 in late September, losing a highly controversial Split Decision to Sean Sherk in a bout that most observers felt that Dunham had won. Prior to that, he had put together 11 straight victories including wins over Marcus Aurelio, Efrain Escudero and Tyson Griffin. Despite the contentious loss to Sherk, Dunham remains among the top contenders in the lightweight division. He will now have to change strategies for his January 22nd fight, as he battles knockout artist Guillard rather than submission specialist Florian.

Guillard (26-8-2, 1 ND) has won six of his last seven fights and has managed to fight his way back into title contention, but is likely still two or three wins away from a title shot. A victory over Dunham would send a big message to the rest of the division, however, as Guillard looks to prove that he is more than just a one-dimensional striker. Training with Jackson’s MMA, Guillard has improved his wrestling but has lost some of the aggression that led him to 16 knockout wins in the past. He will look to keep the fight with Dunham standing to avoid the Xtreme Couture standout’s impressive array of submissions.


The lightweight bout between Edwards (39-16-1) and McKenzie (12-0-0) is an interesting one. Edwards holds a huge advantage in experience and is a much more well-rounded fighter than McKenzie, but McKenzie’s go-to guillotine choke has thus far earned him ten submission wins. Most recently, he finished Aaron Wilkinson with a modified guillotine/neck crank from the top at the TUF 12 finale, but Edwards has been competing for over 13 years and will no doubt develop a strategy to counter his opponent’s trademark tactic.

Florian (13-5-0), meanwhile, may be forced to undergo surgery for what is believed to be a torn LCL in his knee. The Massachusetts native has stated that his doctors are “cautiously optimistic” that he will not require surgery, but a timetable for his return has not yet been established.


UFC Fight Night 23: “Fight For The Troops 2” takes place on January 22, 2011 at Fort Hood near Killeen Texas. Dunham and Guillard are expected to face each other in the night’s main event.



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