Veteran UFC star moving back to lightweight
After briefly considering retirement following a loss to Jose Aldo at UFC 136, UFC featherweight Kenny Florian says he’s not done competing just yet, and when he returns he’ll do so at his old lightweight home.
“I still love this sport tremendously and still want to be a part of it,” Florian told The Boston Herald. “I know myself, and it’s not even just being competitive, but it’s just being there, learning and competing. There’s still very much a fire burning there so I’m going to do it.”
Florian said that he felt the adverse affects of his extreme cut to featherweight.
“I felt it warming up, unfortunately,” Florian said. “I don’t want there to be an excuse because there’s still things I should have executed that I didn’t, but I feel that it’s tough to go in there at a weight class that you’re not sure if you’re going to be 100 percent.”
Florian realizes that a fourth UFC title shot likely won’t be coming his way any time soon, and he’s fine with that.
“I didn’t get in this to be second-best, of course. But at the same time, not everybody can be a champion,” Florian said. “I’m just going to go back to 155, work my way up, take it one fight at a time and see where it puts me.
“I think there’s exciting fights out there for me, there’s still challenges out there for me, there’s still things I’d like to try to improve on and that’s the main thing. I don’t necessarily have the title in my eyes, but I do have my own personal goals as far as the technical level that I want to get to.”
A long-time veteran of the sport, Florian also serves as a part-time analyst for ESPN and occasional color commentator for UFC events. Many fans expected Florian to call it quits after his loss to Aldo, but he says he’s not done and doesn’t plan on putting a timeframe on his decision to walk away from the sport.
“I don’t like making any limits on how many fights or anything like that,” Florian said. “I’m still going to take it one fight at a time. I know I’ve still got several good fights in me. I could fight for the next three years. I could fight maybe another couple of fights. I don’t know. I’m going to take it how I feel in training, how I feel fight after fight and I’m just going to take it like that.”