The mainstream MMA world was first introduced to a 185-pound Kenny Florian on the premiere season of The Ultimate Fighter in 2005. Despite fighting in a much heavier weight class than he was accustomed to, Florian still made it to the finals, where he was overpowered by Diego Sanchez.
"KenFlo" then notched down a weight class and finished two opponents at welterweight before plunging all the way down to 155 pounds. Since the drop to lightweight, Florian has remained a perennial contender and racked up an impressive 9-3 clip, losing only to Sean Sherk (who earned the vacant lightweight title for defeating Florian), then-champion B.J. Penn, and current #1 contender Gray Maynard.
Despite his outstanding success, Florian thinks he can squeeze out a few more pounds and has confirmed to ESPN.com that he will try his hand at 145-pounds. In a report from ESPN's Franklin McNeil, Florian explained his thought process on plummeting a full forty-pounds lighter than the weight he fought Sanchez at.
"I started playing around with the idea: could I make 145? Originally, I didn't think it was possible. 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.
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."
Though original reports suggested the Boston based fighter would immediately get a crack at reigning featherweight king Jose Aldo, Florian's manager, Malki Kawa, told MMAWeekly's Damon Martin that he's got a top contender in his crosshairs first. However, Aldo would be next on his list, and the Black House champion played a significant role in Florian's decision to make the move down in weight. From Kawa:
“We went down to 45 because that fight with Aldo was one that stuck in my head, and I’m just like Dana White, I want to make the biggest and the best fights that I possibly can, and I’m thinking Kenny Florian vs. Jose Aldo one day, I think that’s a pretty big fight."
Kawa also speculates that Florian should be ready to make his featherweight debut in June, though nothing is set in stone.