Kenny Florian is a fighter who simply loves to train.
The former “Ultimate Fighter” competitor spends as much time as he can working in the gym and traveling to different camps to improve as he prepares for a fight. So it’s been all the more devastating that Florian was sidelined last month with a knee injury that not only forced him out of his scheduled fight against Evan Dunham at UFC Fight For The Troops 2 in January, but out of the training room all together.
The injury happened when Florian was working with coach Firas Zahabi and his team at the Tri-Star gym in Montreal while preparing for Dunham.
“I was training in Montreal and it was just an unfortunate accident and the knee bent the wrong way, and my foot was slanted, and it was just kind of an unorthodox thing that my training partner did while I was wrestling and the knee didn’t really like it. I heard a loud pop and dropped to the floor and I immediately knew it was not good,” Florian explained when speaking to MMAWeekly Radio.
After visiting the doctor, Florian was given the diagnosis – a torn MCL and torn meniscus in his knee – which would force him out of the bout with Dunham and sideline him for a yet to be determined amount of time.
Making the call that he was out of the fight was heartbreaking enough for Florian, but now with a brace on his knee and training out of the question, he’s just missing all aspects of the sport. One positive that Florian did take away, however, was the recovery portion of the knee injury, which did not require him to go under the knife.
“I didn’t need surgery luckily; I dodged a bullet. You don’t typically do surgery on the location where I had the meniscus, I don’t need surgery on that, and as well it wasn’t a complete tear, so I lucked out, no surgery,” Florian said.
“Now it’s about resting and doing the rehab.”
The resting part is the most difficult for Florian, who is an admitted gym rat. The Boston area native spends the biggest part of every day in the gym working on his game and getting ready for fights, but for now he is forced to be a bit of a couch potato.
Florian doesn’t like being forced to the sidelines, but when dealing with a knee injury he knows it’s the best place for him right now.
“I’m kind of the type of guy more is better. I always want to do more, and go attack it aggressively, but with something like a knee injury that I’ve never really had before, when you’re talking about ligaments, you really don’t want to do that,” Florian commented.
Right now there is no definitive timeline for his return to the Octagon, but Florian is optimistic to shoot for early summer 2011. Like many athletes, however, if Florian can get his knee back to healthy before that, you can believe he’ll be the first one knocking on the gym door to get some training time on the mats.
“That’s definitely a goal,” Florian confirmed about a possible summer return. “Maybe I can be back before that, but that’s the realistic goal I set for myself and hopefully I can be back in the cage soon.
“I’m really missing the training, and 2011 is a year where I really want to get back in the title picture.”