Is DaMarques Johnson The Next Kenny Florian?

by E. Spencer Kyte | source:

While everyone remembers the finale of the first season on The Ultimate Fighter for the epic encounter between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar, two other men battled for the same title earlier in the evening. Diego Sanchez and Kenny Florian squared off to determine the middleweight winner of TUF 1.

Though “The Nightmare” came out on top that night, Florian has flourished more in the five years since. The MMA Live analyst has put together an 11-2 record since Sanchez dominated him in April 2005, with those two losses coming in championship fights. Sometimes, it’s not the fighter who wins the finale who ends up being the best contestant that season produces. Damarques Johnson is starting to show the same can be said of the cast from Season 9 as well.

Heading into his bout with James Wilks in the finale of the hit reality TV show’s ninth season, Johnson looked to be the man who would emerge with the “six-figure contract” and the title of The Ultimate Fighter. In fact, his battle with Britain’s Nick Osipczak in the semifinals was deemed the de facto finale by some who gave Wilks little chance of up-ending the Utah-based welterweight.

Johnson’s dreams of earning the title of The Ultimate Fighter were choked out of him by Wilks in the first round, pushing the British-born Laguna Hills, California native into “TUF Winner” territory, and leaving Johnson left to play the part of Kenny Florian to Wilks’ Diego Sanchez.

Since the season finale, Johnson has overtaken his welterweight contemporary and been the more impressive of the two. While Wilks has looked uneven in amassing a 1-1 record out of the gate, Johnson has looked strong in earning back-to-back Fight Night bonuses while beating Edgar Garcia and Brad Blackburn. Just as Florian eventually overtook Sanchez as the top contender to emerge from the middleweight competition on Season One, Johnson will look to do the same to Wilks this weekend by extending his winning streak to three over fellow TUF alum Matthew Riddle.

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tags: DaMarques Johnson (detail)  Kenny Florian (detail)  


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Recent Comments »

NateTurnedMaiaLightsOff site profile image  

7/29/10 1:43 AM by NateTurnedMaiaLightsOff

I think what this article is saying is:  Kenny and DaMarques lost the illustrious title of 'THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER!!!1111!!1', but in no way is a damnation. -- hope the best to both of them.

BJJkilla site profile image  

7/28/10 10:36 PM by BJJkilla

no.....just no.

Poindexter site profile image  

7/28/10 10:03 PM by Poindexter

 No real indication of that analogy at this point, IMO.

gward armbar site profile image  

7/28/10 9:48 PM by gward armbar

what a shitty, stupid article.

DiscoNfrno site profile image  

7/28/10 4:19 PM by DiscoNfrno this article is saying that Kenny is better than Diego now?

ds1970 site profile image  

7/28/10 4:10 PM by ds1970

Um, I don't think the article's saying that Johnson could beat Florian. I could be wrong though, but it looks like it's saying that Johnson has so far been more successful than the guy who won during his season similar to how Kenny Florian has found more success compared to Sanchez.

Defenestrator site profile image  

7/28/10 4:10 PM by Defenestrator

Not even close. Kenny Florian was a great grappler that became a great striker and basically struggles in the strength department.

jjj2121 site profile image  

7/28/10 4:10 PM by jjj2121

DaMarques Johnson was losing both the Garcia and Blackburn fights before late finishes. He's very tough, but he'll never be Florian.

ADAMantium site profile image  

7/28/10 4:08 PM by ADAMantium

Demarques is good but Florian is a top contender. No offense rto Demarques. I could see him climbing the ladder but there's still a few rungs left.

kent paul site profile image  

7/28/10 4:05 PM by kent paul

Kenflo would beat DeMarques Johnson quiet easly, probably inside two rounds IMO.