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Is Kenny Florian a UFC Hall of Famer?

Posted on by Damon Martin

In 2003, the UFC first introduced the idea of its own Hall of Fame to honor past athletes and people involved with the sport.

Since then a total of eight people have been inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, including former champions like Mark Coleman, Randy Couture, and Chuck Liddell.

The last fighter to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame was former welterweight champion Matt Hughes, who joined the group in May 2010, but since that time no one has been added to the list.

Is recently retired former Ultimate Fighter season 1 competitor Kenny Florian a future candidate for the UFC Hall of Fame however?

Just a day before The Ultimate Fighter Live season finale, Florian officially announced his retirement from active competition after a back injury suffered in training became so severe that he decided to call it a career and focus on his life after fighting as a commentator for the UFC.

Any fighter who competed in the UFC would of course be honored with a nod by the promotion for the Hall of Fame, and Florian is no different.

“Obviously, it’s something that I don’t decide, but it’s possible,” Florian said about a potential induction into the UFC Hall of Fame when speaking to MMAWeekly Radio.

“Listen, not every guy who wins the belt or has been a champion in other sports, or just because you didn’t have a championship or you didn’t win a belt doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a spot in the Hall of Fame.”

In his career with the UFC, Florian is still the only fighter to compete at four different weight classes, and he fought for belts in two different divisions as well. While he never attained the elusive championship title, Florian was able to stay near the top of the division, regardless of which one he happened to be fighting in at the time, throughout his almost seven-year career with the promotion.

Since the UFC Hall of Fame was introduced almost a decade ago, there’s never been a set criteria for who would be inducted or how often any competitor would receive the honor.

Florian understands that as well and believes that there are a number of factors that play into any potential UFC Hall of Fame inductee.

“I think it comes down to what you’ve done in the sport. The level of skills that you obtained, the guys that you beat, the impact you had on the sport. I think all those things play a factor. We’ll see,” said Florian.

In addition to his three title fights, Florian ended his career with 12 wins in the UFC with 10 finishes, but is it enough to gain entry into the UFC Hall of Fame.

While he would consider it an honor, Florian is quick to point out that he didn’t get into fighting to end up in the UFC Hall of Fame. He didn’t even get into it for the titles.

“For me, none of the accolades matter. Really, what I’m coming away from this sport with is way more valuable than anything else,” said Florian.

“I got into this sport not to be in the Hall of Fame, not to be a champion really even, I just wanted to see how far I could take it. I love what I did, and I wanted to see how far I could take it.”


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  • OMAHAK1LLA

    NEGATIVE! KENFLO was good but not worthy of hall of fame ! jeeze UFC get off his F n NOOTS I think Dana gots the hots for him???? Diego belongs b4 kenny after all he beat him choked him out 1st rd in 1st Ultimate Fighter , not that DiegO belongs either .Shoot lets put Jake Ellenberger for winning 6 in a row or John Fitch for the most consecutive boring fights! Bottom Line in my eyes and proly 95% of U fans out there YOU have to wear the belt to even be considered Hall of fame material ! Honestly it’s a very ignorant question . And for you 5% that thinks he belongs, Eat a D_ _ K ! Id rather have TANK ABBOTT than pusscake any day. How many people did he finish and fight? And how many times did he fight in one night ? And how many times did he fight for title ? id vote LYTLE

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1527439054 douglasray

      tell us what u really think, lol. i agree if kenflo gets in there then they really need look at all these other fighters like tank, forrest griffin not all that good but he did win a title.

  • TJ

    ^^tell us how u really feel….and if u wanna talk about most consecutive boring fights i’d look no further than anderson siiva

  • adam1848

    I’ve heard the argument made for lesser fighters to be inducted, and I really like Kenflo, so I think its a tough call. Does his record or resume justify a spot in the Hall? I don’t believe so. But the fact that he fought at 185 in the finals of TUF 1, and finished his career fighting for the belt at 145, has to be considered. His BJJ and finishing skills forced other fighters to up their game, and most of his fights have been against guys who were considered top level when he faced them. The elbows he was once criticized for are now part of any good fighters repertoire. My initial reaction after reading the article was “no, he doesn’t deserve a spot,” but after thinking about it, I’m really not so sure.

    • somecokehead

      Well written! I agree and would add that he also does television commentary. This adds something unique to his bid for a spot in the UFC hall of fame.

    • johnnyo

      If you have to think about it it means no

  • elguapo

    It all depends on what you think the criteria for a hall of fame induction should be. Do you base it solely on success or do you take a wider view and consider someone’s contribution to the sport as a whole. And then you have to consider how many people will be inducted every year, if it’s one or two then kenny has little chance. And then you need to induct all those fighters who retired a few years ago etc. I think kenny is more of an “honourable mention” than a true hall of famer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/erickinsler erickinsler

    Kenny has done a lot for the sport. He’s a great analyst, and commentator, but he just hasn’t accomplished enough in the Octagon to warrant a HOF introduction.

  • RubeKegal

    Omaha you are a moron. They won’t let you fight more than once a night anymore, so that being one of your reasons Florian shouldn’t get into Hall is just stupid.

    I say Florian into Hall of Fame. He’s 14-6, fought for title 3 times.

    People will say Matt Serra should be in Hall, but fact is the guy is 7-7 in UFC, so if Serra gets the nod, Kenflo gets my vote.

    • lowlb

      gotta laugh at people who insult people from the saftey of their desktop.
      cowardly and classless. I suppose you think you are intelligent?

      • RubeKegal

        why don’t you look at what he wrote d-bag? I am intelligent, I own my own business and I am 19 out of 24 on picking UFC fights this year. I was a 2-time spelling bee champion, I have many leatherbound books that smell of rich mahogany, and you lowlb are probably still upset from the verbal castration you received from me over past disagreements.

        Good job backing up a guy who says Eat a d – c k if you think Florian belongs in the Hall. Very classy, who you going to support next, Junie Browning?

        • DrkDisciple

          If there was a douche bag hall of fame you would have been selected a long time ago! Behind your keyboard you can be anything you want Rich, tough, smart etc.The truth might be very different!

          • RubeKegal

            I smell a scummy Diaz fan who dislikes facts.

        • phrankthetank

          Ahh, the smell of rich mahogany…

        • goleta83

          Is this a joke?

        • johnnyo

          Sorry but I agree with the other guys you sound like miserable little tough guy, relax. Just because someone else’s post is not reasonable you don’t get validity by trashing them in an immature manner

          • RubeKegal

            JOHHNY, SHUT YOUR FACE!! IF I WASNT BEHIND THIS KEYBOARD I WOULD RKO YOU!

        • macgrubber

          Has got to be trolling no one would brag about being a spelling bee champ. Only virgins would brag about that

          • RubeKegal

            it’s a joke ya cumstain

  • http://www.twitter.com/uncanny390 uncanny390

    Letting Florian into the Hall of Fame is setting the bar pretty damn low.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=784498372 stefanonogarole

    my vote for Kazushi “The Gracie Hunter” Sakuraba, known also as “The UFC Hunter”: he’s a UFC champion and in his carreer he beat 7 UFC champions.

    • RubeKegal

      Agreed Sakuraba

      • Lesnardo

        Royce, Carlos Newton, Ken Shamrock, Vitor Belfort, Rampage, Randleman, who else?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=784498372 stefanonogarole

          he has also a W on Guy Mezger during the Pride 2000 Openweight Grand Prix cauz Mezger retired for a contract debate.

          … also Sakuraba fought a lot of openweight match as a far smaller opponent …

  • DrkDisciple

    Never won a belt and Dana even accused him of choking during the big fights. No way is he hall of fame material even though he was a good fighter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001066818422 juliushodges

    Im with elguapo honorable mention at best…Kenny is a nice guy good fighter not great good for the sport and will go on to be a really good analyst….But look at this list and it too me it puts into prosepective no paticular order but KenFlo is not on the same level as these guys. I would say the next guy to get in love him or hate him is Tito Ortiz. I dont want MMA to fall into the same situation as other major sports and start letting everyone in there has to be a line drawn in the sand. HOF has to mean something.

    Dan Severn
    Ken Shamrock
    Chuck Liddell
    Royce Gracie
    Matt Hughes
    Mark Coleman
    Randy Couture
    Charlest “Mask” Lewis

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1527439054 douglasray

      can they vote to have people removed for the HOF, im just sayin Ken Shamrock, garbage they need put tito in there he did demolish him everytime. i Mean seriously u look at the list and u think all these guys are awesome or were awesome, then u see shamrock and like EEEHHH!!! i mean what has he really done for UFC he did no more than Steve Jennum, if u think bout it he just had more publicity back then.

      • RonnieV

        Shamrock wouldn’t compete with today’s well-rounded MMA athlete, but he did help grow the sport. If it weren’t for Gracie, Shamrock, and Severn there may not be a UFC. Other than them, I think you need to be a dominant champion for a couple years to be in the Hall. GSP/Silva of course will go in. Other than that, the only active guys that I think are HOF material are BJ Penn, Rich Franklin (he dominated the MW division for a couple years), Jon Jones, Dos Santos, and maybe Tito Ortiz & Frank Mir.
        HOF is meant to be exclusive, keep it exclusive!

      • RubeKegal

        How are you going to punish a guy because when he was in his prime, the competition wasn’t that good? Horrible post douglasray

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001066818422 juliushodges

    Question what do you guys thank about Frank Shamrock being in the hall of fame? I know he and Dana dont get along but even though it was for a brief period of time he was a Champion and I dont think the ever lost in the UFC please correct me if Im wrong. I think he retired from UFC came back after his prime and fought in Strike Force???

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1527439054 douglasray

      oh yea he lost several times at least 3 to tito and drawed with royce 2 times. lost to severn, he really only beat kimo and patrick smith which aint sayin alot, but then u get into comparing UFC THEN AND NOW, face it all the guys in HOF now could still hang with some of the fighters to date not shamrock. so againi ask can we remove people from the HOF considr the acomplishments of everyone in it to date.

      • phrankthetank

        He said frank shamrock, not ken shamrock

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000468891939 liemianbresenio

    mmaweekly has put up more articles about Kenny Florian SINCE his retirement…

    • TKD

      I said the same thing! Looks like MMAWeekly is a bunch of Kenflo nut huggers like Dana!

  • stak

    Florian does not deserve to be even considered for the hall of fame. He’s never even beaten a top ten fighter.

    On top of that his back injury excuse is just flat out bullshit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001152388070 mattreeber

    Florian is one of my favorite fighters. I think a lot of fighters deserve to get in ahead of him. I’d like to see him there one day but I think it should be after another 10 years or so of announcing for the UFC, then give him the nod as a fighter/commentator.

  • maddawgmar

    The UFC has to put specific guidelines on the Hall of Fame. There are plenty of athletes who have never won a championship that are in there respective hall of fames, Dan Marino, Karl Malone, the list can go on. The number two guy in the world is still a pretty bad ass dude. Florian has been at the top of Lightweight for many years only losing to top 1 or 2 ranked guys. He has established himself outside of the octagon as well with his commentating. I don’t think he is quite Hall of Fame quality, I think he deserves consideration. I mean I see one day Mike Goldberg, Joe Rogan, Bruce Buffer, etc. becoming hall of famers. Dana, Fertita brothers, and Joe Silva need to sit down and write guidelines and implement a voting system. One day there will be a museum full of busts in Vegas for fans to go and see there favorite fighters from “back in the day.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1527439054 douglasray

    Great fighter, but NO on the Hall of Fame. if he was to be inducted then they need to consider fighters like Chris Lytle and tho he never fought for a title, he won numerous bonus ko, fight, and sub of the night.

  • kevstinx

    Not a chance in hell.

    You might as well throw Forrest in while your there, oh and Evans for winning season 2 etc…

    Stop finding bollocks reasons to add people to the H.O.F.

    • Lesnardo

      Kenny “Ken-Flo” Florian?

      I have a feeling that no one but the editors for MMAWEEKLY would even give a thought to inducting Kenny “Ken-Flo” Florian.

      If you can’t come up with an exciting article, don’t write. Please stop wasting people’s time with bs articles like this.

      Every one of the inductees has done something for the sport. Royce, Ken and Severn were the original fighters that brought the submission game to the sport. Coleman was a G&P monster in the UFC and PRIDE, during the early days. Liddell was a dominant LHW champ. Randy defied the odds.

      What has Kenny done other than being a TUF boy Dana nuthugger.

      Before Overeem signed with the UFC, “Overeem is a great striker but is he the best…ahh…I don’t think so.”

      After Overeem signed with the UFC, “Overeem is the best HW striker.”

      At all times before and after Overeem signed with the UFC, “Dana! *sniff* sniff* Your arse is sooo good!”

  • KBEsq

    I knew I would open this story to see negative comments. I’m just here to say absolutely Florian should be in the hall of fame. Look at other sports. It’s not winning a championship that gets you in. It’s longevity and what you did.

    And all those people who say just fighting for a title does not mean anything if you don’t win the title, that’s ridiculous. Florian had to earn those title shots and he beat some stiff competition. It’s an amazing accomplishment that Florian even got three title shots. The easiest one was his declension into the FW division and he still had to beat Nunes and he fought Aldo better than anyone we’ve really seen recently.

    Seventeen UFC fights, twelve wins and only lost to the cream of the crop. Absolutely he should be in the hall of fame. Shouldn’t even be a controversy.

    • KBEsq

      *descent*

    • markrenton

      I agree with a lot of this, but one can argue the the Hall of Fame is typically reserved for the “Cream of the Crop,” the people Kenny never could seem to get past. On the other hand, you have to consider that he was in the first TUF finale (at MW), fought 17 times in the UFC and fought for titles in 3 different weightclasses. I was never a big fan of his, but can see the argument to let him into the HOF.

    • Lesnardo

      It’s not winning a championship that gets you in (winning a championship for whatever it is worth is most likely the prerequisite) but it is definitely not not winning a championship that gets you in either.

      Just go look at the other inductees and everyone that deserves to be inducted before or with Florian.

      17 UFC fights, 12 wins and 5 losses and never a champion gets you into HOF huh? Don’t you think that would make HOF not so much a hall of fame but just anyone’s list?

      Anyway, I’ll bet you my life that Kenny will not be inducted. End of the story.

      • KBEsq

        I never said something so ridiculous as NOT NOT winning a championship gets you in. I said that what he did to earn those title shots, which was win fights against top competition, should be a factor. Who else are you talking about who deserves to be in the HOF who is not? This is a story because Florian retired – that’s why it’s a relevant question (yes, I realize that the UFC has inducted active fighters before, but as the sport evolves that will stop, and the UFC stop inducting until fighters retire).

        You guys really need to lower the bar for the hall of fame. I think because the sport is so new, and only a few fighters are in now, people have this false belief that the inductees have to be absolutely amazing and must have changed the sport! Again, as the sport evolves and stabilizes, you’re not going to have the Gracie type fighters who change the sport. You’re just going to have guys who you can judge based upon their record. This also responds to the comment below mine – MMA will reach a point where fighters simply CANNOT do things to change the sport because it is going mainstream.

        Look at other sports. If you stick with the sport long enough, you barely have to be above mediocre to make it into the hall of fame.

        Florian was in the UFC pretty much his entire career, he was on the first season of TUF, and he’s going to be a color man for the sport (yes, that should be considered too). Florian is a staple in MMA.

        • Triggerman99

          OK, other sports don’t let you in the HOF for being “barely above mediocre”. That’s blatantly untrue, and if barely above mediocre is the standard you want to go with, then you shouldn’t be surprised that people are disagreeing with you.
          It’s not the fact that the sport doesn’t have any more room for pioneers that makes me say Florian doesn’t deserve to get in. It’s the fact that he simply didn’t do enough to get in.
          To suggest that we lower the bar to allow a fighter into the HOF who hasn’t won a single championship or done anything else to make him stand out as truly great diminishes the value of the HOF itself.

  • smill0313

    I like k-flo but adding him to the hof does a dis-service to the other inductees. He hasn’t done anything special to deserve being in the hof.

  • Machterf5

    If Florian gets in, Chris Lytle better be standing right next to him.

  • doberman

    Seriously? fighting in 4 weight classes means something if your moving up, or even down 1 weight class to your natural weight. Dropping that many weight classes just tells me your scared to fight someone nearly your size. Wont be surprised if we see him come out of retirement for flyweight. Good fighter, but really?

  • MMALibrary

    No way Kenny Florian is HOF worthy!

    Mask also shouldn’t be in there.

    Guys like Don Frye aren’t even there it if Kenny was it would be an even bigger joke than it already is.

    There’s former champions that will likely never be in
    Bustamante
    Tim Sylvia
    Matt Serra
    Josh Barnett
    Ricco Rodriguez
    Frank Shamrock!! Hate the guy but he may actually deserve it

    UFC HOF is a joke either way. But putting Kenny in would certainly make it worse

    • RonnieV

      It’s a joke? It has 9 members!

  • fries171

    NO way in hell! good fighter fun to watch but hof never that is for the best of the best not kenflo. Sorry kenny but not worthy of those honnors

  • OMAHAK1LLA

    Put all the ring girls in HOF!

    • Lesnardo

      And Dana should induct himself as well. Also, Joe Silva, Frank Fertita, Lorenzo Fertita, Herb Dean, John McCarthy, Mario Yamasaki, and all of the editors of MMAWEEKLY should be inducted as well.

  • williamreynolds

    Kenny will probably make it into the HOF one day, but not based solely on his fighting career. My guess is he sticks with the UFC for years as a broadcaster, and one day maybe the UFC will throw him a bone for all the years of faithful service.

    I think that would be appropriate, even if he means he could wait for several years.

    • Lesnardo

      To be honest, I don’t like him as a commentator. He is too biased.

      • RubeKegal

        You must be thinking of Joe Rogan.

  • Michael

    ken shamrock was never all that good either

  • phrankthetank

    Kenny florian has fought for 3 titles, he’s fought in 4 weight classes, he’s a successful analyst and commentator. He has also been a great ambassador for the sport world wide. No, he’s never been a champion but his contributions to the sport have been considerable. He’s one of the most popular and recognizable fighters in UFC history and I definitely believe that he should receive an induction into the HOF.

    • KBEsq

      Exactly. As I said above, people need to realize that the days of fighters literally ‘changing the sport’ are going to be (or are already) over. There aren’t going to be any more Royce Gracie’s, or any other guys to which you will be able to attribute the success or growth of the sport.

      Ultimately, the UFC HOF shouldn’t be much different from any other HOF. You stick with the sport long enough, and are consistently successful to the point where you are remembered and recognizable within the sport for that success, then you should be in. Who would you want to see in a HOF if you went to visit? Personally, I wouldn’t want to just see the guys who absolutely dominated and fundamentally changed the sport. That’s a small list. I want to see and remember the ‘lesser’ guys too.

  • Triggerman99

    The best fighter he has ever beaten is probably Clay Guida.
    That should pretty much tell the story here.

    • KBEsq

      First of all, Guida is awesome. He’s in a tough division, but is very talented. Second, even if Guida is the ‘best’ that Florian has beat, a lot of the other guys he’s beat are right at the heels of Guida talent wise. It’s not like there’s Guida, and then a distant second place.

      • Triggerman99

        But you have to remember that Guida has never even been a #1 contender, much less wwon a title or even fought for one.
        If the best fighter you ever defeated can’t even claim to have ever even fought for a title, then you don’t have a legitimate claim to the HOF.
        I understand Florian competed in 4 different weight classes and all that, but who did he beat in those weight classes?
        He’s been present and consistent, but not HOF great.

  • http://www.facebook.com/yannick.messaoud yannickmessaoud

    Yes he is, so much respect for him and all MMA fighters for that mater.

  • jpgagne

    No arguments here: He never was champion. In an individual sport, if you do not win championship, you cannot be considered for HOF. Plain and simple! Even in team sports, it is highly unusual to have HOFer that have not won championship. So unfortunately no, Kenflow should not be consider for HOF… as a fighter that is.

  • phrankthetank

    If the UFC HOF was just about who you’ve beaten and how many titles you’ve won. Mask wouldn’t be in it. The HOF is also about contribution to the sport, being an ambassador and a role model. Florian has done much more for the sport than just fighting.

    • Triggerman99

      Mask is only in it out of respect. It was more a tribute than anything else.
      Kenny Florian’s first and foremost contribution to MMA is being a fighter, and as a fighter, he doesn’t have the credentials to be in the HOF.

      • phrankthetank

        So because he was a fighter his other contributions mean nothing? No. As a fighter alone he does not belong in the HOF, but he’s been more than just a fighter for a long time.

        • Triggerman99

          Exactly what contributions are we talking about here?
          Does he have a cult-like following as a commentator who consistently steals the show?
          Has he unleashed a platoon of elite fighters to the game as a coach?

          I understand he is a good ambassador and all that, but by far the biggest contribution he can hang his hat on is his fights, and it seems that you and I both agree that as a fighter, he doesn’t get in. You don’t get in for being decent at more than one thing and not quite great at the most important thing.

  • goleta83

    Yes he should.

  • mark-31

    That is pretty sad when a 14-6 mediocre fighter who got 3 title fights just because of his popularity might get inducted into the hall of fame. I mean, he seems like a pretty nice guy but definitely not worthy of hall of fame status.

  • johnnyo

    No belt, no HOF. If an “Honorable Mention Wing” is built, sure put him in. He seems like a nice guy but the HOF should be the best of the best, not he tried real hard and gave it a good shot. The HOF has just started and why water it down with “pretty good” fighters already? My next guy after Tito would be BJ. Again another fight that was the best of the best in his era.

  • Mario

    Simple answer:

    NO

  • Maine2Alaska

    I agree Mario.. Simple Answer = NO.

    Why on EARTH would Ken-Flo be in the UFC hall of fame? I think Tito Ortiz is just border line passable for it. And thats setting the bar low enough, in my hummble opinion.
    You either need the Championship Belt, and or defend it as least once. And have plenty of wars on your record.