(“I’ve never been knocked out in a fight and I’ve never been knocked out in training. But I’ve never been hurt the way that [Penn] hurt me.” / Photo via Las Vegas Sun)
By Matt Kaplan
Two weeks ago, Kenny Florian, the man who finished fights, announced that he is finished fighting.
Florian cited a November 2011 back injury and eventual numbness and tingling in his limbs as the impetus for closing the chapter of his life that’s been defined by five UFC Fight Night appearances, four weight classes, three UFC championship fights, two vicious elbows, and — lest we forget — one samurai costume.
As an undersized middleweight, Florian first appeared on our radars as the TUF 1 runner-up to Diego Sanchez in 2005, and after two victories at welterweight, Florian transformed his body and game, and established himself as one of the best lightweights in the world. Florian then made a brief run at featherweight in 2011, defeating Diego Nunes and losing to champion Jose Aldo, before announcing his retirement at the age of 36.
In a recent conversation with CagePotato.com — and in loving tribute to Ring Magazine’s “The Best I’ve Faced” feature — Ken-Flo looked back on his MMA career and remembered the opponents who stood out across a number of categories…
Fastest on his feet: I’d say Jose Aldo. He was the quickest. His explosiveness in general, his footwork, and his ability to move definitely are impressive.
Toughest chin: I remember hitting Sam Stout with hard shots. I hit him on the ground with a big bomb that connected real well, right on his chin, and he just ate it. And from seeing the rest of his fights, I see why. He’s got a real good chin.