Kenny Florian to Become First Top UFC Lightweight to Move Down to Featherweight

Kenny Florian (bottom) won't have to deal with over sized wrestlers any longer, with a move to featherweight coming in 2011.

It was debated on by fans and media, and talked about when the UFC offered featherweight champion Jose Aldo a fight with him, now, it's a reality.  Kenny Florian talked to ESPN about his decision to make the move from 155lbs, to 145:

 

"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."

"[The UFC] is very supportive. They're very excited about the move. I've spoken to 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.

If the man hasn't proven it he's intelligent, this proves it right here. Featherweight is wide open right now, Jose Aldo looks to be a dominant champion, but there's no talent quite like Kenny Florian to challenge him. Florian is aware of this, and is looking to bank on it. Should he man handle one of the top fighters in the division and earn a title shot, he's presented an opportunity to dethrone Aldo. If he can do that, then in my opinion, he'll be champion for a long time.  

The top tier of the featherweight division pales in comparison to the top tier of lightweight.  Kenny Florian, although bested by Maynard and Penn, is highly skilled, and it is very likely that his move to featherweight will see him become the big fish in a small pond.  If all goes according to plan for Florian, he achieves what he could not at lightweight, and if he can become as dominant as training partner Georges St. Pierre, he may get to move up to lightweight again in the future, and get an immediate title shot.  

Florian's move will also serve as a measuring stick for all the other lightweights that have been mulling over the idea of dropping down to featherweight, and I suspect seeing Florian's success will lead to some more big names drop the ten pounds to test the waters.

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