Dana White promised a big announcement at the ‘TUF: Live Finale Weigh-ins’, but though many were hoping for good news it turned out to be something more poignant – the retirement of UFC veteran Kenny Florian.
Florian has been battling with a persistent back injury suffered during training late last year for some time and sadly he’s not been able to overcome it and so at the age of 36 ‘Ken-Flo’ got up on stage tonight to confirm that he was hanging up his gloves for good.
It’s perhaps fitting that Florian announced the news on the eve of a TUF finale because Florian is a perfect example of a fighter who owes his whole career to the long-running series after first becoming noticed as a finalist on the first ever season of the show.
While he lost out to Diego Sanchez in the final Florian would go on to become a prominent figure in the sport, at one stage going on a six-fight winning streak and famously declaring after one victory that he came to “finish fights.”
That was no idle boast as 10 of his 12 UFC victories all came by either TKO or submission. He would also compete in three title fights over the course of his career, twice at lightweight against Sean Sherk and BJ Penn and once at featherweight versus Jose Aldo in what would prove to be his final fight.
It’s undoubtedly the greatest regret of his career that he was unsuccessful in all three attempts to win a title, but nonetheless he’s still destined to be remembered fondly by fight fans.
The good news for fans of Florian is that he’s still going to have a prominent role in the UFC as he’ll be continuing on in his color-commentary role opposite Jon Anik at the UFC on FX and Fuel TV events as well as co-hosting ‘UFC Tonight’.
In addition Florian plans to coach other fighters and is set to open up another gym in Los Angeles where he now lives to go along with the one he already owns in his native Boston.