Three-time UFC title contender Kenny Florian announced his retirement following the weigh-ins Thursday evening for The Ultimate Fighter: Live Finale. Florian finishes his MMA career with a record of 16-6, including 12 wins in 17 UFC fights.
UFC president Dana White re-told the story of when he first saw Florian compete, as he went up against Drew Fickett and lost in a match while White was back home in Massachusetts.
"Had I not met him that night in Boston, who knows if he would have ever got to the UFC," White said. "He's been an amazing ambassador to this sport and the UFC."
Florian injured his back while training in November, and has tried to rehab his way to return to fighting. Florian, a finalist in TUF, said he re-injured his back a few weeks ago and knew it was time to retire.
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"I don't know what I would have done if Dana wasn't there (to watch the Fickett fight)," Florian said. "All I ever wanted to do at that time was be a mixed martial artist full time. I am just so thankful to everyone at Zuffa for everything they have done."
Florian competed in four different weight classes and won seven of his bouts via rear-naked choke. He will remain in his role as a commentator for several UFC events on FX and FUEL TV. "Ken-Flo" also announced he will be opening a gym in Los Angeles where he will coach.
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