Kenny Florian Talks His Future in the UFC, Moving Weight Classes and More
After a long and successful career in the lightweight division, UFC's Kenny Florian made the transition to 145 pounds to square off with Diego Nunes at UFC 131.
Florian would be declared victorious via unanimous decision and move on to face Jose Aldo for the featherweight title. There, however, Florian would take part in a five-round war that would ultimately go in the favor of Aldo.
Following his bout, there was speculation that Florian would return to 155 pounds, as he endured medical difficulties from dropping to the featherweight division.
In a recent interview with Bleacher Report's Garrett Derr, Florian discussed his plans to return to the lightweight division, along with the hardships he endured during his time at featherweight.
"Dropping to the featherweight division was way too much for my body to handle," said Florian. "The Diego Nunes fight was the worst I've ever felt on a weigh-in day. Luckily, I felt better on fight day and was able to pull out a victory.
"But, against Aldo it was a brutal weight cut, and I really didn't feel too great heading into the fight. In result, I had some medical issues I had to deal with. I had a thyroid issue that was based on the drastic weight loss.
"Those are the things you kind of ignore as a fighter, but it became very real to me after the fight. I'll now be moving and staying at lightweight."
As Florian makes his transition back to the lightweight division, he still has one goal in mind: winning a UFC championship. Despite coming up short in all three title opportunities, Florian still feels he has what it takes to make another run towards UFC gold.
"I feel that I have all the skills to get it done," Florian said. "I've had different issues over the course of my career, but I'm capable of doing it. It's just going out there and getting it done. I have some injuries I'm going to let heal for the next two months. Once those things clear up, I'm looking forward to getting back on the race to the title."
However, when that title run begins is unknown as Florian is unsure of when his exact return date will be.
Florian is also unsure of whom he will face in his return to the Octagon in 2012.
"I really have no idea right now<" Florian said. "I'm hoping it would be a well-respected, top guy in the lightweight division. But, right now I don't have anyone in mind.
"I have a back injury that I'm letting heal up. As soon as that's cleared, I'll start talking to the UFC about possible opponents."
While Florian has already established himself as one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time, fans began to question how much he had left in the tank following his defeat at UFC 136.
However, Florian feels he still has what it takes to be an elite contender in the UFC for a few more years.
"Physically, I know I'm capable of doing it. I love the sport, and I love the training. I have a bad back injury like I said, but I feel as if I can do this for a few more years. I've never had a problem going to the gym. I love it to a fault." Florian laughed. "I think my career has a few more great years and fights left."
However, that day will eventually come when Florian steps away from the Octagon.
But, that doesn't mean Florian will step away from mixed martial arts; he's demonstrated exceptional skills in broadcasting. Florian has taken part in analyzing fights in the past and would certainly pursue such a career following his retirement.
"Yes, I definitely want to [go into broadcasting] one day," said Florian. "I do a lot of it already. I really enjoy doing it because it's a great way of being a part of the sport.
"That will eventually be my career, along with some coaching, and I'll continue to run my gym in Boston."
Florian will entertain these other careers when the time arrives, but his main focus is recovering from his injuries and enjoying his time off.
Like many fighters, Florian enjoys doing many things outside of the Octagon.
"I love to travel when I get [the] chance. I also enjoy reading a good book, and I love to play chess. I don't have a lot of time for too much else outside of mixed martial arts. Right now I'm reading a philosophy book and the 'Future of Physics,'" said Florian.
While Florian has accomplished many things over the course of his career, he is often reminded of his brother, who has been by his side since day one.
"My brother Keith is one of the biggest influences in my life. He's been with me since the very beginning. He's been training with me since day one," said Florian. "It's been our journey together. There's been a lot of other guys that have helped me along the way, but mainly it's Keith who's been there for me from the very beginning."
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