BOSTON - AUGUST 28: Gray Maynard (L) fights against Kenny Florian during their UFC lightweight bout at the TD Garden on August 28 2010 in Boston Massachusetts. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
It took two weeks of reflection for Florian, 35, to take it all in and make a decision:
He still wants to compete, but he wants to do it again at his natural weight class, which is at lightweight.
Florian recently decided to drop to featherweight after two failed attempts at winning the 155-pound title. However, after one win (Diego Nunes) and the loss to 145-pound kingpin "Scarface," Florian wants to take six months to put the 10 pounds back on his wiry frame and just "see what happens next."
The Dover, Mass., native explains his situation to the Boston Herald:
"I still love this sport tremendously and still want to be a part of it. 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.... I didn't get in this to be second-best, of course. But at the same time, not everybody can be a champion. 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."
Florian competed 12 times at lightweight from 2006 to 2010, losing two title fights -- Sean Sherk for the vacant strap early in that tenure and to B.J. Penn via submission three years later -- as well as a number one contender eliminator match to Gray Maynard in late 2010.
It was that last defeat to "The Bully" that sent Florian south looking for answers; however, he basically admits that it was a failed experiment because he never really "felt 100 percent" at the weight class.
Florian knows that he will once again have to work his way back up the lightweight ladder, one fight at a time. He's done it before, twice, but will the third time be the charm?