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VCURamFan 06-06-2012 08:35 PM

Kenny Florian Explains MMA Retirement, Looks Back at Career Highlights


Jun 5, 2012 - It wasn't that he wanted to leave fighting or that the UFC asked him to do something else. In fact, no one told Kenny Florian it was time to hang up the gloves and retire. No one, that is, except his body.

"The time was right," Florian told Ariel Helwani in his first interview since formally announcing his retirement at the weigh-ins for The Ultimate Fighter Live Finale. "It's something I've been thinking about since dealing with this injury. Probably a month or two after I was dealing with this injury - I injured it back in November - and it was just something I started thinking about a couple months after."

The truth is Florian was hoping for a comeback despite the initial injury in late 2011. He always wanted another fight. Maybe a couple more bouts, and why not? He still loved to train and could compete with most of the best fighters in two weight classes. The former UFC lightweight flatly admits he wasn't ready to quit the grind even if the grind forced his body into an intractable position.

It wasn't just the wear and tear over time, although that played a role. But in the process of trying to heal his body and gear it back up for competition, he recently re-aggravated the problem. That, said Florian, was the signal his time as a prizefighter was up.

"I was hoping to get back to training or some sort of regular training schedule and injured it again a few weeks ago. It was just kind of a reminder I had to take it easy for a while. Just with everything else going on, now was the time," Florian said.

What exactly is the injury that forced 'KenFlo' into retirement? A herniated disc in lower back, Florian says.

He had dealt with back pain and injury before during his UFC run. He dropped out of the first Sam Stout fight in 2006 because of a pinched nerve. But as Florian told Helwani, "this one was different."

"I was getting