Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White today (May 31, 2012) took to the stage after the The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 15 Finale weigh in event wrapped in Las Vegas, Nevada, to make a special announcement:
Three-time world title challenger Kenny Florian has retired from mixed martial arts (MMA) and is moving onto "bigger and better things" as a commentator/announcer.
Florian, who was last seen in action on Oct. 8, 2011, at UFC 136 in Houston, Texas, contending for Jose Aldo's 145-pound Featherweight title, has suffered from back problems in the past, but he re-injured it in November while lifting weights. As a result, Florian has been dealing with tingling and numbness in his right leg.
And it's apparently enough to force the 36-year-old original TUF contestant into retirement.
Check out his immediate thoughts on retirement after the jump:
"I'm just so thankful to the UFC and everyone here for everything they have done. Fighting found me and I'm a much better person because of it. I'm happy.... I've dealt with injuries in the past, but back in November I was training and hurt my back. It just hasn't quite been the same ... I re-injured it a few weeks back. So, it's been tough. I haven't been able to train. And I'm the type of person who never wants to do anything half-ass. If I'm going to train for a fight, I want to be able to do it 100 percent. [The decision] has been several months [in the making]. It's been very, very hard. It's been tough."
Four different weight classes, a ground-breaking appearance on TUF, three world title shots and 17 fights inside the Octagon (20 professional MMA bouts), finishing 85 percent of his 14 opponents before the final bell. Indeed, Florian finished fights, which is pretty damn impressive for an unassuming kid from Massachusetts who stumbled into the sport nearly one decade ago.
Recently, when Florian was not competing inside the Octagon, he moonlighted as co-host for ESPN's "MMA Live" and currently for "UFC Tonight" alongside Todd Harris on Fuel TV. It's a side-gig that now has apparently transitioned into a full-time career.
Thanks for the memories, "Ken-Flo," looking forward to many more ringside.