The Boston Herald broke some rather somber news today.
Kenny Florian has a herniated disc in his lower back that could very well end his career. According to the report, Florian sustained the injury during a weight lifting session in November, expecting it would get better, but it hasn’t. The “tingling and numbness down his right leg” has prevented him from training and the two doctors he has met with recommended that he retire. The news is obviously discouraging, but Florian is trying to maintain a positive outlook.
“It’s possible, unfortunately,” Florian said of his career ending. “I’ve kind of been going back-and-forth with some of the doctors, so it’s possible. I’m going to see. As of right now, obviously I can’t compete and train like I was at all. I’m just kind of doing what I can and hoping that things heal up and get better. I’m just kind of in a holding pattern. That’s why I decided to do this commentary for the time being and take this next six months to really heal up and try to make some money on the side. It sucks. The last couple of months I’ve just been figuring out what’s going on and what I’m going to do.”
“It’s not good,” Florian said. “That’s why I’m trying to stay hopeful. We’ll see. I’ve been out here in (Los Angeles) doing this show every week for ‘UFC Tonight’ for Fuel TV and doing some other things. I’m just hoping that it can heal up and get better and then see if I can go back to doing what I was doing. So far, I still need to rest. If I go to do something physical, I’m just not able to do it. That pain is coming back.”
Florian had planned to return to the lightweight division after making a run at the featherweight title, but that’s all up in the air now. Other fighters such as Tito Ortiz and Shane Carwin have been able to extend their careers with back surgery, but it’s unclear if that could be a potential solution for Florian.
If not and this is really it, Florian at least has a career in broadcasting to fall back on. He was a regular analyst on ESPN MMA Live, dabbled in color commentary for the UFC and WEC and currently co-hosts the UFC Tonight show on FUEL TV. It’s not fighting, but certainly not a bad way to make a living for a former fighter.