Fox Sports is, as a whole, garbage, so it’s hardly surprising to learn that the UFC partner’s preview of this weekend’s Fight Night bout between TJ Dillashaw and Dominick Cruz contained material stolen word-for-word from another fight writer.
Kenny Florian, the plagiarist in question, is both an on-air analyst and, of course, a former UFC fighter himself; readers might expect him to bring unique insight. But several readers of his Fox Sports preview, posted on Monday, realized they’d seen his words before—specifically, in a December YouTube video analyzing the technique of 1940's boxing champ Willie Pep produced by British writer Lee Wylie.
Yesterday, Wylie discovered the plagiarism.
Fox Sports responded by adding the following disclaimer to the top of Florian’s post:
(Editor’s Note: Language in this breakdown borrows from written material in a video of an in-depth look at the defensive boxing prowess of Willie Pep by TheFightCity.com boxing analyst Lee Wylie. The original version of this story did not contain this credit. We regret the oversight.)
Florian, meanwhile, doubled down and maintained that nobody had a right to be angry about his plagiarism save Wylie himself. But this isn’t the first time Florian has been accused of lifting his material from another source without attribution. One Twitter account that’s been tracking Florian’s plagiarism noted a video from 2014 that made the same accusation.
That Fox Sports is incapable of objective UFC criticism due to its financial agreement with the promotion is bad enough. That it can’t even come up with unique ideas in its analysis simply reflects what a pathetic—if mostly ignored—operation it is.
Update: Fox Sports has suspended Kenny Florian, calling his plagiarism a “critical oversight.” Here’s the full text of their release:
It is vitally important that FOX Sports and FOXSports.com maintain credibility and trust with their readers, viewers and fans. FOX UFC on-air personality Kenny Florian is being suspended beginning immediately for a critical oversight in a story posted earlier this week on FOXSports.com. Florian has admitted and regrets his mistake and apologized for the error.