A herniated disc may force Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) Kenny Florian into early retirement due to complications stemming from the back injury.
The former three-time number one championship contender's orthopedist and a neurologist apparently agreed of the recommendation.
Florian, who was last seen in action on Oct. 8, 2011, at UFC 136 in Houston, Texas, contending for Jose Aldo's Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight title, has suffered from back problems in the past, but Florian reportedly re-injured it in November while lifting weights.
As a result, Florian has been dealing with tingling and numbness in his right leg.
Hear what "Ken Flo" had to say about the possibility of retiring from the sport he loves after the jump:
"It's possible, unfortunately. I've kind of been going back-and-forth with some of the doctors, so it's possible. I'm going to see. As of right now, obviously I can't compete and train like I was at all. I'm just kind of doing what I can and hoping that things heal up and get better. I'm just kind of in a holding pattern. That's why I decided to do this commentary for the time being and take this next six months to really heal up and try to make some money on the side. It sucks. The last couple of months I've just been figuring out what's going on and what I'm going to do."
When not competing inside the Octagon, Florian has moonlighted as co-host for ESPN's "MMA Live" and currently for "UFC Tonight" alongside Todd Harris on Fuel TV. A career that may become his full-time job sooner rather than later:
"It's not good. That's why I'm trying to stay hopeful. We'll see. I've been out here in (Los Angeles) doing this show every week for ‘UFC Tonight' for Fuel TV and doing some other things. I'm just hoping that it can heal up and get better and then see if I can go back to doing what I was doing. So far, I still need to rest. If I go to do something physical, I'm just not able to do it. That pain is coming back."
Florian, 35, made his way into the UFC via The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 1, losing to Diego Sanchez in the middleweight Finale. He has since competed 17 times, amassing a 12-5 record in the world-famous eight-walled cage.
Should Florian be forced to leave the sport, he will do so not having held UFC gold, a goal he has strived for since debuting with the promotion in 2005. Florian has contended for the UFC lightweight championship twice and the promotion's featherweight title once, coming up short on all three occasions against Sean Sherk, B.J. Penn and Jose Aldo.
Here's hoping to a speedy recovery and a successful return.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com as further details of Florian's career- threatening back injury become available.