K-Flo: It’s Still a Go
(Boston Herald, By Dan Duggan) A number of thoughts have gone through Kenny Florian’s mind in the two weeks since his unanimous-decision loss to featherweight champion Jose Aldo at UFC 136 in Houston.
Florian considered retirement, but the 35-year-old couldn’t shake one feeling: He still loves to train and fight. With that in mind, Florian has decided to continue his career. The only change the Dover native will make is a move back up to the 155-pound lightweight division.
“I still love this sport tremendously and still want to be a part of it,” Florian said in an exclusive interview with the 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.”
The loss to Aldo was the third title shot loss of Florian’s career. After dropping a fight to Gray Maynard for the lightweight No. 1 contender spot last August, Lauzon dropped to the 145-pound featherweight division.
The move proved beneficial when Florian (16-6) defeated Diego Nunes in June to land the title shot vs. Aldo. But on fight night, Florian said he felt the effect of the lower weight.
“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 doesn’t plan to fight for the next six months as he rebuilds his body for the lightweight division. He’ll return to an uncertain future, with a fourth title shot highly unlikely without a lot of stellar performances.
“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.”
Florian believes he’s still making improvements and said he has been reinvigorated since switching training camps two years ago to work primarily at his own gym in Brookline and in Montreal with renowned trainer Firas Zahabi. A promising career as a TV analyst awaits after retirement, but Florian isn’t ready to hang it up yet.
“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.”
Posted on Sunday, October 23rd, 2011 in Updates.
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