Florian Announces Drop to Featherweight


Kenny Florian. Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC.

Despite shooting down rumors of an impending drop in weight last week, former two-time UFC lightweight title challenger Kenny Florian has confirmed that he will be moving to the featherweight divison for his next fight.

Florian told ESPN.com on Monday that he is planning on testing the waters at 145 lb before eventually heading back up to lightweight.

"I spoke with a few nutritionists, got their opinions, told them what my body fat was, my walking-around weight, all that stuff and the general consensus was that it was very possible," Florian said of his move. "I put a lot of thought into it, spoke with my coaches and everybody involved and decided that I am going to try it. I'm going to go for it."

With the support of agent Malki Kawa, Florian hopes to challenge for the UFC featherweight strap after one or two victories at 145 lbs, potentially setting up a showdown against Jose Aldo that was originally targeted by the UFC a few months back.

"[The UFC] is very supportive," Florian said. "They're very excited about the move. I've spoken to [UFC president] Dana White, [matchmakers] Joe Silva and Sean Shelby -- they're all excited. And I'm excited. I'm very motivated. For me it's first things first. My goal is to get the 145-pound belt, and then go up to 155 and challenge for that belt as well."

Florian challenged for the UFC lightweight title on two occasions but fell short both times, dropping an unanimous decision to Sean Sherk and then suffering a late submission loss to B.J. Penn.

Currently recovering from a knee injury, Florian has been cleared to return to training and is likely to compete at UFC 131, which is slated for the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on June 11.

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