Retirement or Not, We Haven’t Seen the Last of Kenny Florian

October 11, 2011
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Kenny Florian has competed for a UFC title three times in his career and was defeated each time. After losing to featherweight champion Jose Aldo at UFC 136 last Saturday, many are questioning, what is next for Florian? Some have even suggested that he should consider retirement.

Florian issued a statement via his management team at Authentic Sports Management on Monday in response to questions that surround his fighting future, but gave no indication about any career decision.

“Everyone is asking what is next for me,” read the statement. “The only response I can give right now is that I’m going to take some time. I want to rest, spend some time with my family and friends, and then evaluate all of my options. I’ll speak with (UFC president Dana White), and my manager, Glenn Robinson, and we will figure out my next move. When I make that decision, my fans will be the first to know. One way or another, you haven’t seen the last of Ken-Flo!”

“That’s up to Kenny,” said White about Florian’s future following the UFC 136 post-fight press conference. “It’s one of those things he needs to sit down and really figure out on his own.

“He’s accomplished a lot in this sport; he really has.”

Florian (14-6) has come a long way since he made it to the finals of the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter as a middleweight back in 2005. After losing to Diego Sanchez in the season’s finale, Florian won two fights in the welterweight division before dropping to the 155-pound weight class. In his second bout as a lightweight, Florian was granted a title shot for the then-vacant lightweight crown against former welterweight contender and much more experienced Sean Sherk. He was defeated that night and many questioned if it was too much too soon for Florian.

He regrouped, refocused, and rose through the division over the course of the next two years, putting together a six-fight win streak and earned a second opportunity at UFC gold. This time he faced former two-division UFC champion B.J. Penn. Florian would again come up short in a title fight, losing by submission.

Having lost twice in lightweight title bouts, Florian set out to get back to contender status. In his next two outings, he decisively defeated Clay Guida and Takanori Gomi. He then faced Gray Maynard at UFC 118 in a No. 1 contenders bout. Maynard’s wrestling proved too much and Florian lost a one-sided decision.

Following the loss to Maynard, White criticized Florian, suggesting he doesn’t perform when on the biggest stage.

“I just think Kenny is one of those guys that chokes in big fights,” said White.

Florian exited the lightweight division after the Maynard loss in search of a big fight in the 145-pound weight class, perhaps to prove White wrong.

In his featherweight debut, Florian took on rising star Diego Nunes. Florian won a hard-fought unanimous decision and called for a fight with titleholder Jose Aldo.

In his second fight as a featherweight, Florian was granted the fight he requested. History was repeating itself. And much like in his fight against Sherk, Florian was defeated by Aldo in a one-sided decision.

The third time wasn’t a charm for the Bostonian. But does that mean he should retire?

Ultimately any decision falls on Florian, and either way, he’s left his mark on the sport.

Two things happened to Florian’s legacy at UFC 136. He lost for the third time with the belt on the line, but he also joined a short list of names that have competed for world titles in two different weight classes. The list includes: Randy Couture, B.J. Penn, Sean Sherk, Vitor Belfort, Dan Henderson, Urijah Faber, and Jens Pulver.

Whether Florian retires or tries to stage a run at a fourth title shot, White isn’t worried about his future.

“The thing is he’s smart, he’s talented, he’s got other options. He’s got other things going on outside of fighting, too,” said White. Florian co-hosts MMA Live on ESPN, and commentates regularly on UFC broadcasts.

“He’s a talented guy with a lot of options,” said the UFC president. “I have nothing but respect for him and Kenny Florian will be with us, no matter.”

While Florian’s statement on Monday didn’t shed light on what he intends to do in the future, he was right about not seeing the last of Florian… one way or another.

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  • wonggfan

    I don’t want to see this guy anymore.

    No one cares about him except for UFC fanboys.

  • BigGuy

    “Retirement or Not, We Haven’t Seen the Last of Kenny Florian”…WTF? What else is left for this guy? He has tried every weight class to win, and he has failed…miserably, I might add. Dana needs to get real and dump this loser already!

    • wonggfan

      @ BigGuy

      We agree again,

      The UFC is not fucking WWE. You don’t lose in Summer Slam and come back to win in the Royal Rumble.

      I don’t like Florian as a commentator either. The dude is on Dana’s nuts 24/7. I don’t think he has ever said anything that’s against the Zuffa propaganda.

      I don’t like seeing non-former champs stay around just to get have big name fights. Randy and Chuck deserved to be around. Florian, along with Frank Mir, should think about becoming a champion in SF. The thing is, they can’t be champions even there.

      • BigGuy

        Wonggfan: The whole Mir situation is a joke. Now he is saying he wants to fight Lesnar again. Get serious! Who wants to see that shitty match up again?

        Are you trying to say that you don’t like to watch Florian and his tight suits on ESPN? You don’t like his constant pro Zuffa stance on everything??? His tireless ass kissing of Dana and the UFC? I guess that makes two of us.

  • emmettbarnacle

    Both of you are idiots yeah he lost but he’s fought for 3 titles he still would have been top 10 lightweight and he’s still a top ten featherweight get your dicks outa your asses. Kenny Florians the man and I stand by that and I’ll watch his fights any day

    • wonggfan

      Top 10 bla bla top 10 bla bla. This whole top 10 shit is gay anyways. In the fight world you don’t get kudos before being in the top 10.

      Top 10 = will never be a champion and most likely get kicked out of the top 10 soon but want to distinguish self from the rest of the scrubs while trying to put self on some kind of equal footing with “elite” fighters.

      Florian should drop down to bantam weight and fight Miguel Torres. He may have a shot there.

  • afk


    Are you retarded or did your parents just not teach you how to read? The point of the title is to imply that even if he doesn’t fight again he will be involved with the promotion and mixed martial arts.

    Stop being such a douchebag, jealous loser in your lightless apartment and do something for yourself beyond sitting there and trash talking over the internet.

    • wonggfan

      No one is jealous of MMA fighters. Kenny Florian makes at most $300k pre-tax. And after his MMA career, he has to go teach Karate lessons in Boston to eek out a living.

      “Involved with the promotion”…you mean suck Dana’s dick on that ESPN show? “Is Overeem the best striker in the HW division?” “I wouldn’t say that,” said Kenny after Overeem won the K-1 and destroyed Duffee. I’ll bet you anything that he is gonna try to sell Overeem now that he is in the UFC. Kenny is Dana’s puppet on that show. Stephan Bonnar is another mediocre fighter that acts as Dana’s puppet. He lost to 45 years old Mark Coleman..LOL!

    • BigGuy

      @ afk: I’d love to battle you over this, but sadly, wonggfan said it all.

      You must get your lips off of Dana’s nuts long enough to know what Dana means when he says that a fighter will be, “involved with the promotion”. It means that he will be Dana’s propoganda machine.

  • Kuch

    Kenny should move back to 155 and just be happy being a top UFC Lightweight. He’s handled guys like Guida so I think he would split with guys like Melendez, Miller, Henderson, Pettis, and Cerrone. There are more marquee fights for him at 155 than 145.

  • bajafox

    Looks like it’s gatekeeper status for Kenny now. All he should do with the rest of his career is take on money fights, there’s no shame in losing your chance at a title 3 times, some guys will never even fight for just one

    • wonggfan

      That gate-keeper gig works only for one or two years. Soon Kenny is going to meet the next Jose Aldo and get brutally destroyed. After that, he will be a cold product, if he is not now a cold product.

      Dana will fire him when that happens. Why pay him $100k when you can get 5 up-and-coming guys for that price.

  • I agree with bajafox. Kenny should just fight for money and fun. He is a good fighter and has beaten some tough guys. Should another title shot happen, so be it, but he should not pursue it. Besides, he still has the MMA Live and broadcasting jobs. He should be happy with what he has accomplished so far. It’s sad that he did not get the gold, but whatever, he still got to live his dream and be involved in what he loves to do. However, I would not pay top dollar to see Kenny in another title match.

  • BigGuy

    I think Kenny should start a midget version of MMA, drop a bunch of weight, and fight for that title. Problem is, he would probably lose that too!