Kenny Florian has been a fighter that has consistently challenged for a UFC championship. He made it to the finals of The Ultimate Fighter, and he challenged for the belt on three occasions, in two different weight classes.
“I’ve never done anything to be mid-level,” he told MMAWeekly.com recently.
A weightlifting injury in November caused numbness and tingling in Florian’s right leg, and it’s not improving. Having consulted with doctors, who recommend that he hang up the gloves, Florian appears to be leaning towards that option.
He knows for sure that he doesn’t want to jump into a surgical procedure.
“There is no doctor out there that they operate on your spine, they’re going to say you’re going to be okay,” said Florian. “I want to see if I can do it through training, through rehab, through other means first and then take it from there.”
The odds aren’t in his favor that such an approach will return him to form, at least not the form that would be necessary to remain in contention for another title run. Gunning for a title is the only way Florian would want to continue his career.
As he said, he doesn’t want to be a second tier player.
Yet, a definitive decision has yet to be made.
“It depends on how I heal up, and all that stuff. I’m giving it until about June to see how I feel, how I heal up,” said Florian.
“Looking back, I got to face some of the best fighters in the world. I had a good career, if it comes to that; I have no regrets.”