Thursday, May 31, 2012 | 6 p.m.
- ‘The Ultimate Fighter Live’ finale breakdown, betting odds and picks
- Mike Chiesa overcomes father’s death to reach ‘The Ultimate Fighter Live’ finale
- ‘The Ultimate Fighter Live’ rolling along with intriguing matchup Friday
- Meet the 16 competitors who fought their way into ‘The Ultimate Fighter Live’
- Local fighter Martin Kampmann on the cusp of a UFC title shot
- UFC announces a slew of bouts, including headliner for upcoming Las Vegas card
- Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber named ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ 15 coaches
- Kenny Florian finds new home in featherweight division at UFC 131
- UFC section
- All MMA/boxing coverage
“The Ultimate Fighter Live” finale weigh-in worked as an opening act Thursday afternoon at the Pearl at the Palms.
UFC President Dana White took to the stage after 20 fighters made weight ahead of tomorrow night’s bouts with an announcement the promotion teased all day. White revealed the retirement of UFC veteran Kenny Florian, who came out to address the crowd.
“It’s something I’ve been grappling with for a while,” the 36-year old Florian said. “When I look back on my career, I’ve had a great career. Now it’s time to move on and pursue other things.”
Florian steps away from mixed martial arts with a 16-6 record, including a 12-5 mark in the UFC. For all of his successes, fans may remember Florian most for the fights he lost.
He fought for the lightweight title twice — falling to Sean Sherk at UFC 64 and B.J. Penn at UFC 101 — and the featherweight strap once — losing to Jose Aldo at UFC 136. Florian also failed in a title eliminator against Gray Maynard at UFC 118 and “The Ultimate Fighter” 1 finale championship against Diego Sanchez.
He holds notable wins over Joe Lauzon, Roger Huerta, Joe Stevenson and Clay Guida. Florian also became the first fighter to ever compete at four different weight classes — middleweight, welterweight, lightweight and featherweight.
“He’s going on to bigger and better things,” White said.
Florian currently works as a UFC broadcaster, adding color commentary for the fights on FX and FUEL TV. He serves as a co-host of weekly news show UFC Tonight on FUEL TV.
He intended to make a return to lightweight after falling to Aldo in a featherweight championship bout last October. But a back injury halted, and eventually killed, those plans.
“It just hasn’t been the same,” Florian said. “I’ve been dealing with it, trying to get back and doing rehab. Then a few weeks ago, I hurt it again. It’s been tough.”
The news about Florian dominated an otherwise uneventful weigh-in. Anyone who likes their fights served with a dash of animosity must feel unsatisfied heading into the 15th “TUF” finale.
Six of the 10 fights on the card feature cast members from the season. After living in a house together for 13 weeks, they’ve gotten to know and respect each other.
The other fighters slated to appear at Friday’s event also kept it civil during the stare down photos. Featherweights Jonathan Brookins (146) and Charles Oliveira (144) exchanged multiple hugs.
Headlining welterweights Jake Ellenberger (171) and Martin Kampmann (170) kept their distance and shook hands after posing for their photo.
“Martin Kampmann says he wants to stand toe-to-toe,” Ellenberger said on a video played at the weigh-in. “I think he’s going to be backing off and circling away from me but it’s not that big in there. I’m going to find him.”
Look below for full results from ‘The Ultimate Fighter Live’ finale weigh-in.
Welterweight bout: Jake Ellenberger (171) vs. Martin Kampmann (170)
‘TUF’ Lightweight championship bout: Mike Chiesa (156) vs. Al Iaquinta (155)
Featherweight bout: Jonathan Brookins (146) vs. Charles Oliveira (144)
Bantamweight bout: Max Holloway (145) vs. Pat Schilling (145)
Lightweight bout: Justin Lawrence (155) vs. John Cofer (155)
Lightweight bout: Darron Cruickshank (155) vs. Chris Tickle (154)
Lightweight bout: Myles Jury (155) vs. Chris Saunders (156)
Lightweight bout: Cristiano Marcello (156) vs. Sam Sicilia (155)
Lightweight bout: Joe Proctor (156) vs. Jeremy Larsen (155)
Bantamweight bout: John Albert (136) vs. Erik Perez (134)