When Kenny Florian fell short in his third UFC title bid Saturday night against featherweight champion Jose Aldo at UFC 136, fans and the media immediately began inexplicably asking “The Ultimate Fighter 1″ finalist if perhaps it would be a good time for him to call it a career. Seems a bit harsh, but everyone loves winner.
Even UFC president Dana White seemed to hint at the post-fight press conference that Florian’s future with the promotion might be behind the microphone as opposed to in the Octagon.
“I’ve got nothing but respect for him, and Kenny Florian will be with us no matter what.
“Kenny Florian’s awesome. He commentated our last show. I think he’s great on camera. I think he’s great on the mic,” White gushed. “He’s a talented guy with a lot of options, and he’s always been a solid guy with us and always been a team player. I love Kenny Florian. There’s a lot of things that could happen with Kenny Florian.”The thing about Kenny is he’s smart. He’s talented. He’s got other options. He’s got things going on outside of fighting, too. It’s just one of those things he needs to sit down and really figure out on his own.”
Who were we talking about again? Oh yeah…Kenny Florian.
Anyway, the 35-year-old Westwood Massachusetts native issued the following somewhat vague statement today, and although he didn’t say it, it’s obvious that retirement is on his mind:
“First, I’d like to thank Jose Aldo for giving me the opportunity to compete for the featherweight title last Saturday. I gave the fight my all, but Jose won that night. I would also like to thank the UFC, Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta for their continued support.
I am passionate about mixed martial arts, and I love being involved in this sport. It is incredible to see how much MMA has grown and that, today, there are millions of people who enjoy the UFC as much as I do.
Second, everyone is asking what is next for me. The only response I can give right now is that I’m going to take some time. I want to rest, spend some time with my family and friends, and then evaluate all of my options. I’ll speak with Dana, and my manager, Glenn Robinson, and we will figure out my next move. When I make that decision, my fans will be the first to know. One way or another, you haven’t seen the last of Ken-Flo!”
If he’s contemplating retirement because he’ll likely never hold a belt, maybe someone needs to explain the role of the gatekeeper to Kenny. He didn’t look bad out there Saturday night and there are plenty of interesting bouts for him at 145. He’s just running out of weight classes to drop to to get a title shot.