UFC President Dana White announced after the official weigh in event for The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 15 Live Finale: "Ellenberger vs. Kampmann" that three-time world title challenger Kenny Florian, who had announced he would make the decision by June, has retired from mixed martial arts competition.
"It's been very hard," said Florian of the decision. "You're identity becomes what you do, so it's been tough."
Florian, 36, is already well into the transition to a post fight career in broadcasting. KenFlo's television efforts include live UFC cable-TV broadcasts and the weekly "UFC Tonight" program on FUEL TV.
Florian, along with his brother and fellow BJJ black belt Keith, has run the successful Florian Martial Arts Center in Brookline, Mass. for several years. He plans to open a gym in Los Angeles, where he has recently moved.
Florian went 12-5 in the UFC, including three title shots, with all five of the losses to eventual champions (Sean Sherk, BJ Penn, Jose Aldo) or No. 1 contenders (Gray Maynard, Sanchez). He holds wins over the likes of Clay Guida, Takanori Gomi, Joe Lauzon and Roger Huerta. His final fight was against featherweight champ Jose Aldo last October, with Aldo taking a unanimous decision.
Florian suffered from back problems, which flared up again in November, leaving him with numbness in his right leg, severe enough so that the man who competed in the UFC in an astonishing and never equaled four weight divisions, 185, 170, 155, and 145 pounds, is moving on.
The Underground offers Florian heartfelt thanks, and best wishes for continued success.
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