One of the biggest superstars made by The Ultimate Fighter has officially announced his retirement from mixed martial arts. Kenny Florian, a former three-time title challenger in the Ultimate Fighting Championships leaves the sport with a 14-6 record and at the age of 36, has a long career ahead of him in broadcasting.
What were the biggest victories of his career? What was the worst loss of his career and what will he be remembered for?
Biggest Win of Career
Florian didn't have the best luck in the fights that had the most importance. He went 0-3 in his three title fights and was defeated in the TUF finale by Diego Sanchez. Just because he lost the big fights didn't mean Florian didn't get some important wins.
In June 2006, he picked up a major victory against Sam Stout via Rear-Naked Choke, earning a shot at the vacant lightweight title against Sean Sherk. It was the third straight win for the native of Westwood, Mass.
Another major victory in the career of Florian was another Rear-Naked Choke win with the Japanese legend, Takanori Gomi. The two men went to war in their 2010 fight and Florian earned his chance to fight Gray Maynard in a title eliminator fight after stopping Gomi.
Worst Loss of Career
After losing his first title shot to Sherk, Florian won six straight, setting up a title fight with B.J. Penn. UFC 101 was the home and Florian was ready to test himself against the best lightweight in the world. Penn showed why he was the best fighter in the division at the time and stuffed everything Florian tried to do before eventually getting a Rear-Naked Choke victory of his own.
Florian's legacy in the UFC will be of a fighter who put everything on the line each time he stepped into the Octagon. He finished his UFC tenure with a 12-5 mark, but never wore gold. Despite all other accolades and achievements he reached in his career, he will always be remembered as a fighter who couldn't break through against the best fighters.
They say that a loss doesn't define who you are. It's what you do with the loss that does. Florian never gave up after a loss because he knew he would learn from it. That is what sets him apart from some of the fighters who can't learn from their previous mistakes.
For a look at the best fights for some of the most popular fighters in the UFC and 2011 division recaps, go here.
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Hobson Lopes has been a fan of mixed martial arts since the days of Tank Abbott and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.
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