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What will Kenny Florian do next? Retire? 155? 145?

Best80smovieRAD2011-10-16 05:14:00 +0000 #1
mmajunkie

HOUSTON – To the casual MMA fan, Kenny Florian's name might not immediately seem like it belongs next to those of Chuck Liddell and Matt Hughes.

It might not even seem right nestled next to Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar.

And sure, the 35-year-old "KenFlo" will likely never find himself in the UFC Hall of Fame, but according to UFC president Dana White, Florian (14-6 MMA, 12-5 UFC) is among a handful of legendary competitors who will always have a home in the world's biggest mixed-martial-arts promotion.

"I've got nothing but respect for him, and Kenny Florian will be with us no matter what," White said following Saturday night's UFC 136 post-event press conference.

It's a nice vote of confidence from Florian's longtime boss, but the eight-year pro hardly seemed consoled by the gesture. Instead, a visibly pained fighter sat quietly in his chair and politely answered – albeit in just about as few words as possible – the handful of questions that came in about his featherweight title loss to 25-year-old champion Jose Aldo.

"Not right now," Florian answered when asked if he had planned his next move. "I haven't really thought past this fight, so we'll see what happens."

But if Florian hadn't thought about his next move prior to Saturday night, it seemed as if perhaps he was considering it at that exact moment. Four weightclasses during his UFC run, three shots at the belt, zero championship wins.

"Obviously, I'm disappointed," Florian said. "I fought very hard. I trained extremely hard. I wasn't successful. That's it."

And with that, the questions to Florian stopped. It really was that simple. Like the two previous times Florian had climbed the ladder of his division, he failed to reach the top rung. The challenger claimed the opening round of the evening's co-feature by clinching and grinding and shooting and striking, but he dropped the next four as his pace slowed and his variety of attacks diminished, and Aldo was awarded a unanimous-decision win.

It's unclear if Florian will fight again. And if he does, it's uncertain at what weight. But if the former cast member of "The Ultimate Fighter 1" is indeed done with his competition days, White said that doesn't mean his association with the UFC will necessarily need to come to an end.

"Kenny Florian's awesome," White said. "He commentated our last show. I think he's great on camera. I think he's great on the mic. He's a talented guy with a lot of options, and he's always been a solid guy with us and always been a team player.

"I love Kenny Florian. … There's a lot of things that could happen with Kenny Florian."

Florian doesn't necessarily boast a signature moment from his 17 octagon appearances to date, but he's compiled a solid body of work.

His gruesome bloodbath with Sean Sherk was certainly a memorable affair, and his "I finish fights!" mantra was a post-"TUF" staple. His 2008 "Fight of the Night" win over Joe Lauzon was a gutsy performance, and his UFC 87 derailing of Roger Huerta was a technical masterpiece.

Florian took a vintage B.J. Penn into the fourth round, and he earned back-to-back submission wins over superstars Takanori Gomi and Clay Guida.

White believes Florian's UFC 136 performance was his best title-fight effort to date. But in many ways, it seemed to be Florian's last run at gold. Where he ends up next, White doesn't know, but he insists Florian will have his full support in any venture.

"I really like Kenny, and I have a lot of respect for him," White said. "He's accomplished a lot in this sport. He really has.

"The thing about Kenny is he's smart. He's talented. He's got other options. He's got things going on outside of fighting, too. It's just one of those things he needs to sit down and really figure out on his own."


BulldogWrestler2011-10-16 05:18:46 +0000 #2
135 obviously
split decision2011-10-16 05:31:39 +0000 #3
I think Ken-Flo has reached the same stage of his career as Rich Franklin is in: gatekeeper status. The difference between the two is that Ace held the belt, but both are proven veterans who are no longer title contenders. They are names for the young lions to overcome or guys who can fight other aging veterans on PPVs.

Both guys are also smart and will do fine after their MMA careers are over, whenever they choose that will be.
clamcakes2011-10-16 05:22:25 +0000 #4
Quote:

Originally Posted by BulldogWrestler

135 obviously

He can start amputating body parts.
seansloan2011-10-16 06:54:20 +0000 #5
Until the UFC stops offering him nice paydays it would be silly to retire.I would recommend the moneyweight division.
Spectre2011-10-16 06:51:48 +0000 #6
Dana is basically pushing him towards retirement.

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