By: King Eddie
Kenny Florian announced his retirement last week. I figured I would give it a few days to sink in and see if maybe there was some turnaround on the situations, but alas he is actually retired.
Florian was one of the original TUF contestants and is currently the only fighter in UFC history to have ever competed at 4 different UFC weight divisions. He also found himself in title contention 3 times in his UFC career. Though he never got the gold around his waist, many believe he may be one of the best that never won the belt. Some argue for Hall Of Fame induction, some grumble it's undeserved. Either way you slice it, Ken-Flo has always been a true professional, and a fantastic ambassador to the sport.
Here in Hawaii, we more commonly remember him from our concerted hatred of him when he challenged BJ Penn. But his career stretches much further than that. As a fighter who continuously evolved, Kenny proved that raw talent alone was not enough. Florian was the first to stop the Huerta train in the UFC. He also took out Gomi, Nunes, Stevenson Lauzon, Stout, Kope, Karalexis. The list is pretty impressive. His only career losses came to hammers like BJ Penn, Diego Sanchez, Drew Fickett, Sean Sherk, Gray Maynard, and Jose Aldo.
Needless to say, Florian had an amazing career that spanned almost 10 years in our great sport. He helped it grow to become what it is today, and we salute him. Thank you for all of your sacrifice Mr. Florian. As the door closes on his career in MMA, the lessons learned will live on forever.