Kenny Florian is the Buffalo Bills of the UFC. He gets so close to a championship, but can never seal the deal.
Ken-Flo contemplated retirement after his decision loss to Jose Aldo at UFC 136. He sought to finally rest his 35-year-old body from the beatings and the many weight-class changes that he has endured.
Florian is the only UFC fighter to compete in four different weight classes.
After a lot of deliberation and soul-searching the TUF 1 alum decided to soldier on, but in his more comfortable lightweight division. The division is stacked and he has plenty of options on who to bang with.
Florian is looking to rebound with a win, and you can be sure that as long as he's fighting, he will be seeking belt holders. Let's see what fights may be better suited for Ken-Flo.
Nate Diaz and Donald Cerrone are hot names in the lightweight division.
Both fighters are coming off of Submission of the Night victories and look to clash at UFC 141.
The winner of this fight will be moved into serious title-fight talks, but the loser will need to fight a solid lightweight to vault himself back up into contention.
Enter Kenny Florian.
Florian, a Brazilian jiu-jitstu black belt, will be hard for either man to submit. It would be a pretty solid fight for whomever is available.
We all know that the time is quickly approaching when Gilbert Melendez will make his UFC debut. Who better to roll out the red carpet than Kenny Florian?
Gilbert would be taking on a solid former title contender and if he wins it would push him closer to the title shot most think he deserves out the gate.
The problem is that Kenny is not in title contention now. That may sour decision-makers on making this one happen.
In the hair battle, Clay Guida meets Ben Henderson at UFC on FOX on November 12th in a match that is sure to vault the winner into a possible title match if not one win away from it. The loser, however, will be back to the drawing board and will look to create another win streak worthy of title aspirations.
Enter Kenny Florian.
It looks like Kenny Florian, if successful in his return to the division, will be a sort of gatekeeper for the division's elite.
This would also give Clay Guida, if he loses, a chance to avenge his last loss.
Jim Miller was smoking-hot before his fight with Ben Henderson. Most thought that Jim would march right through Henderson. Reality set in and Henderson was able to control the majority of the fight and hand Jim Miller his first loss in seven previous fights.
Miller needs a solid bounce-back win and Kenny Florian can offer that opportunity with a good test to Miller's skill set. Ken-Flo has only been knocked out once and submitted once, so it's hard to finish him. Jim would have his hands full.
This one is probably the most interesting based on a couple of factors. Melvin Guillard is coming off of a derailing loss to Joe Lauzon that put a title shot far into the future for the Young Assassin. He needs to start another win streak with a good win and Florian would most likely be game.
Guillard has had some rather negative comments directed toward Kenny Florian, and the war of words would be exciting leading up to a fight between the two.
This is probably the one I hope happens the most.
I know we just mentioned his submission victory over Melvin Guillard, but Joe Lauzon needs another solid test in the lightweight division.
Joe has relied heavily on submissions to end his previous victories and it would be interesting to see how he fares against someone with great submission defense. Florian would challenge Lauzon and probably throw in some submission attempts of his own.
This would be a great ground battle.
Another solid former contender coming off of a loss, Dennis Siver would be a good matchup for Kenny Florian. Siver lost a quick submission clinic to Donald Cerrone at UFC 137 and would like nothing more than to get back in the win column against a solid opponent.
Florian would give him a proving ground to see if he is ready to make another run at title contention or if he is moving back toward the bottom of the division.
Even though he's coming off a win, Anthony Pettis needs to stack some wins to move toward the lightweight promised land. A victory over Kenny Florian would be a nice one to add to his resume.
Anthony showed improved wrestling in his last victory over Jeremy Stephens at UFC 136 and he would need that to carry over into a fight with Ken-Flo. Kenny's cerebral tactics would test the young Pettis and see where he actually is in the development of his all-around game.
While not a fighter on the forefront of everybody's mind, Rafael Dos Anjos has quietly stayed relevant for decent fights in the UFC. He's 3-1 in his last four fights and once again, Kenny Florian would be a good measuring stick to see where he is in the division.
Dos Anjos has a solid Brazilian jiu-jitsu base and has developed some good power in his hands to back that skill set up. Florian would push Dos Anjos to see how good he really is right now.
Kenny Florian would be a perfect matchup for Sean Sherk's yearly adventure back into the UFC. In a battle of the old guys and rematch of UFC 64's lightweight title fight, this fight would pit two veterans of the sport against each other.
Sherk beat Evan Dunham in the Fight of the Night at UFC 119 so he's looking to start a win streak and deny Florian a chance to avenge his loss against him. With both men a little wiser since their first meeting, this would be tactical battle between two old warriors.