Kenny Florian to Resume UFC Career at Lightweight

Written by Tom Ngo
October 23rd, 2011

UFC Lightweight Kenny Florian

Kenny Florian (Pictured) contemplated retirement after dropping a unanimous decision to featherweight champion Jose Aldo at UFC 136. Fast forward 15 days and it appears the 35-year-old has decided to resume his mixed martial arts career.

“I still love this sport tremendously and still want to be a part of it,” Florian told The Boston Herald. “I know myself and it’s not even just being competitive, but it’s just being there learning and competing. There’s still very much a fire burning there so I’m going to do it.”

Florian’s comeback will take place in the lightweight division, a class where he spent the majority of his big league career. Although he looked impressive in his 145-pound debut against Diego Nunes, “Ken-flo” admitted there was something off in his fight with Aldo.

“I felt it warming up, unfortunately,” Florian said. “I don’t want there to be an excuse because there’s still things I should have executed that I didn’t, but I feel that it’s tough to go in there at a weight class that you’re not sure if you’re going to be 100 percent.”

Florian owns a 14-6 professional record, with 12 of his wins coming by way of devastating finish. However, after losing both of his lightweight championship scraps, as well as a 155-puond title eliminator bout, UFC president Dana White dubbed Florian a “choker.”

The Bostonian said that at this stage in his career, it’s more about challenging himself than competing for gold. Although, he believes that adding 10 pounds back to his frame will enhance his game.

“I didn’t get in this to be second-best, of course. But at the same time, not everybody can be a champion,” Florian said. “I’m just going to go back to 155, work my way up, take it one fight at a time and see where it puts me.

“I think there’s exciting fights out there for me, there’s still challenges out there for me, there’s still things I’d like to try to improve on and that’s the main thing. I don’t necessarily have the title in my eyes, but I do have my own personal goals as far as the technical level that I want to get to.”

All but three of Florian’s fights have been under the UFC’s watch. He started his Octagon career in the middleweight division as a finalist in “The Ultimate Fighter 1” and worked his way down to the featherweight class. He’s unsure how much longer he would like to extend his nine-year MMA career.

“I don’t like making any limits on how many fights or anything like that,” Florian expressed. “I’m still going to take it one fight at a time. I know I’ve still got several good fights in me. I could fight for the next three years. I could fight maybe another couple of fights. I don’t know.”

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