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Kenny Florian moving down to featherweight, targeting summer return


Looks like the rumors were true after all. 

Kenny Florian, having lost in two separate bids for the lightweight championship and coming off a loss in a number one contender fight against Gray Maynard at UFC 118, is officially making the drop down to featherweight.

"KenFlo" broke the news to ESPN:

"I started playing around with the idea: could I make 145? Originally, I didn't think it was possible. I spoke with a few nutritionists, got their opinions, told them what my body fat was, my walking-around weight, all that stuff and the general consensus was that it was very possible. I put a lot of thought into it, spoke with my coaches and everybody involved and decided that I am going to try it. I'm going to go for it."

If you remember, UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo turned down a 155-pound fight against Florian back in November of last year because "he was never a champion." Apparently, that's been in the back of the mind of Florian's manager Malki Kawa.

Enough to help convince his client, who started his Octagon career as a middleweight, to make the drop to 145-pounds to make a run at "Junior."

"Like Dana White, I like to make big fights. And a fight with Aldo has been sticking in the back of my head since the UFC asked us for it. If there is a way to make it happen, I want to. If it looks like the only way that fight can happen is if Kenny moves down to 145, that's what we're going to do. ... He's not going to get a title shot at 145 directly. We're asking for a top guy, and then maybe after one or two more fights, he can get a title shot. He should be ready to make his 145-pound debut in June or July. He has been cleared to start training this week."

Florian was most recently slated to square off against Evan Dunham at UFC Fight Night 23: "Fight for the Troops 2" on Jan. 22 but was forced to pull out due to a knee injury.

From the sounds of it, the time off was spent pondering a huge career move for the Massachusetts native.

Despite his current standing at lightweight however, Team Florian has no plans to ask for an immediate title shot. Of course, the featherweight champ is currently booked anyway, as Aldo will defend his strap against Mark Hominick at UFC 129 on April 30.

But they do believe he is just one or two fights away. Against who, though?

Oh, and if your thinking this means the end of "KenFlo" at lightweight, you would be mistaken. In fact, he still wants to win the 155-pound title:

"For me it's first things first. My goal is to get the 145-pound belt, and then go up to 155 and challenge for that belt as well."

Realistic goals? Or delusions of grandeur?

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