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UFC Vet Kenny Florian Retires From MMA

It has been a busy week of retirements this week in MMA. UFC veteran Kenny Florian will join Jason Mayhem Miller on the retirement sidelines. The nine-year MMA vet has called it a day after a moderately successful run in the UFC.

The news was a bit of a surprise but hardly qualified as the “big announcement” that the UFC promoted earlier in the week. Florian hurt his back in training and said that it hasn’t been the same since. He re-injured it a few weeks ago and hasn’t been able to train since. Florian will remain a part of the UFC family as a broadcaster.

I’m just so thankful to the UFC and everyone here for everything they have done. Fighting found me and I’m a much better person because of it. I’m happy…. I’ve dealt with injuries in the past, but back in November I was training and hurt my back. It just hasn’t quite been the same … I re-injured it a few weeks back. So, it’s been tough. I haven’t been able to train. And I’m the type of person who never wants to do anything half-ass. If I’m going to train for a fight, I want to be able to do it 100 percent. [The decision] has been several months [in the making]. It’s been very, very hard. It’s been tough.

Kenny Florian entered the UFC in 2005 as part of the first The Ultimate Fighter class. Florian fought at middleweight on the show on Chuck Liddell’s team before being traded to Randy Couture. Florian defeated Chris Leben to make it to the semi-finals. Florian lost to Diego Sanchez in the finals via TKO in the first round on the live finale special.

Florian went on to have a pretty successful career in the UFC. The only thing missing from Florian’s career was a UFC championship. Florian developed a bit of a reputation as a choker in title fights thanks to UFC president Dana White. Florian was the kind of a fighter who looked great in the chase but came up real small when it counted in the title fights. To his credit, Florian fought his way to three championship fights, four if you include the TUF 1 final.

One thing that always bugged me about Florian is that I felt the UFC pushed him too hard. The UFC pushed him as a big star and a guy that “finished fights.” Yet in big fights against BJ Penn and Jose Aldo, Florian looked anything like a guy that finished fights. Florian got his most recent championship shot after only one win in the division. Those kind of politics and the favoritism shown towards Kenny by Zuffa always rubbed me the wrong way.

To be fair, Florian certainly had his share of impressive wins. On the positive, Kenny Florian competed in four different weight classes and is a part of the most successful season in The Ultimate Fighter history. Florian has earned three UFC championship fights, going 0-3 in all three. Florian is 14-6, with 17 fights in the UFC. Florian finished 10 of his 12 UFC wins before the final bell.

Florian has been preparing for life after fighting for awhile now. Florian joined the UFC broadcast team as a part-time substitute back in 2008. Florian is a regular co-host of MMA Live on ESPN with Franklin McNeil. Kenny is also a fixture of UFC Tonight. I have grown to really enjoy Florian’s editorials at the end of the show where he will give the unique perspective of a top UFC fighter on a hot topic in the MMA world.

One thing I won’t miss is Kenny’s brother Keith barking in his corner during fights. His loud, screeching voice is beyond obnoxious. It looks like I can turn the volume up again.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric’s work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

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