Kenny Florian may be at the end of his mixed martial arts career. | Photo: Dave Mandel
UFC featherweight and lightweight title challenger Kenny Florian is contemplating retirement, according to a report Friday in the Boston Herald.
Florian told the newspaper that a lumbar herniated disc in his lower back suffered while lifting weights in November could threaten his mixed martial arts career. “The Ultimate Fighter 1” finalist has experienced tingling and numbness down his right leg since the injury occurred and hasn’t been able to train at full capacity. He has met with an orthopedic doctor and a neurologist, and both have advised the Massachusetts resident to retire.
“It’s possible, unfortunately,” Florian told the Herald regarding his potential retirement. “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.”
In the meantime, Florian is focusing on his role as an analyst for “UFC Tonight,” which airs weekly on Fuel TV.
“I’m just kind of in a holding pattern,” he told the Herald. “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.”
A 17-time UFC veteran, Florian last competed in October, when he suffered a five-round defeat to current 145-pound king Jose Aldo in his second featherweight bout. “KenFlo” began his UFC career at middleweight on the inaugural season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” After losing to Diego Sanchez in the finale, Florian dropped to welterweight, where he earned back-to-back victories over Alex Karalexis and Kit Cope.
He made his lightweight debut at “The Ultimate Fighter 3” Finale, beating Sam Stout via rear-naked choke in the opening frame. Florian twice had title shots at 155 pounds, dropping a unanimous decision to Sean Sherk at UFC 64 and losing by submission to B.J. Penn nearly three years later.
Florian owns notable victories over Din Thomas, Joe Lauzon, Roger Huerta, Joe Stevenson, Clay Guida, Takanori Gomi, and Diego Nunes in his career.
“Just want to thank everyone for the well wishes. This back issue has been going on for a little while. We will see what the future holds,” Florian said in a post on his Twitter account late Thursday.