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Kenny Florian retires from MMA at age 36

Fans received a sad bit of news Thursday night after the weigh-ins for the Ultimate Fighter 15 Finale had concluded when UFC President Dana White announced TUF alumnus (and finalist on the inaugural season) Kenny Florian was retiring from MMA. Florian then took the stage, explaining his injured back had not healed as he’d hoped and would force him to call it quits on a memorable career.

Word of Florian’s condition emerged earlier this year when the 36-year old, who celebrated his birthday last weekend, explained he’d herniated his back while lifting weights and hadn’t been able to train at 100% since.

“I hope that everyone saw a guy who really dedicated his life to the sport and a guy who always worked really hard to evolve in every single fight and every single session, and to get better and hopefully take the sport to another level,” said Florian to the disappointed crowd. “And that’s really what I aimed to do, to get the best out of myself and raise my level every time.”

The 14-6 Florian did the bulk of his work under the UFC banner where he went 12-5 including title-fights at lightweight and featherweight. “KenFlo” leaves the sport with twelve finishes including those in wins over Takanori Gomi, Joe Lauzon, and Clay Guida.

Florian will now focus on his role doing commentary for UFC events as well as co-hosting UFC Tonight.

PHOTO CREDIT – TAPOUT/UFC

8 COMMENTS
  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    One tough dude. Sad to see him be forced into retirement. Glad he has his TV gig to keep him close to the sport he loves.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  • Yourdaddydevilandlord says:

    He is a great ambassador and voice for the sport, I wish him all of the luck in the world, and look forward to hearing his voice teach MMA to the masses and I hope he is able to continue training others. Cheers to a new chapter Mr. Florian, I am proud to be a fan of yours, you have done it right.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  • hindsightufuk says:

    gutted really, always like to watch Kenny fight, he was never a staller or a point fighter (maybe in a few fights, but mostly he was a fighter). i prefer to watch him fight than listen to him as a commentater, although i’m getting more used to him.
    damn shame

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  • Sad. I’m with Hindsight not a huge fan of his fight calling but was a big fan of his fighting. Partially due to his style partially due to him being the closest thing to watching Ben Stiller getting punched in the dace.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • Sad. I’m with Hindsight not a huge fan of his fight calling but was a big fan of his fighting. Partially due to his style partially due to him being the closest thing to watching Ben Stiller getting punched in the face

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Sorry

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  • Rece Rock says:

    At least he knew when it was his time…. Like above posters have said he still will be involved in the sport & maybe with the extra time on his hands he will be able to sharpen up his mic skills and really push his new career to the next level.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Lord Faust says:

    Unfortunate news, though hardly shocking.

    It’s doubly unfortunate that it’s an injury sending Florian off to retirement; I’m sure any fighter would rather be retired like Chuck than have a gym accident be the deciding factor. (Even money on which one of those is worse for long-term health.)

    While it may not seem impressive, Florian’s career is definitely noteworthy. He came to the UFC with something like a 2-1 record, fought well above his normal weight on TUF, and ended up beating some really tough guys. He may not have won a title, but he stood toe-to-toe with some of the best fighters in the sport’s recent history; he may not have won, but he didn’t look out of place.

    Like 99.99% of all fighters, I wish the best for Kenny. I like the work he’s doing behind the microphone and hope Zuffa keeps the man busy for years to come. If not, he could always do stunt work for Ben Stiller. :P

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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