Former UFC lightweight contender Kenny Florian announced on ESPN’s MMA Live that he will be making his featherweight debut at UFC 131 against Diego Nunes.
“It’s a new challenge,” said Florian. “I’ve never been afraid of a new challenge. I see it as an exciting opportunity to possibly face what in my opinion is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, which is Jose Aldo. He’s a tremendous fighter and I have a lot of respect for that guy. (But) I still have an opponent before I get there.”
Florian found himself hitting a wall in the lightweight division as of late. Having had little success recently in an increasingly crowded division, Florian recently announced his plans to try his chances in the newly incorporated UFC featherweight class.
Florian, who has lost twice in lightweight title fights and recently saw his third shot at the belt go up in smoke after losing to Gray Maynard in a number one contender’s bout, recently told ESPN.com of his desire to drop to 145 lbs. and make a run for that division’s title.
“I started playing around with the idea: could I make 145? Originally, I didn’t think it was possible,” Florian said. “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…[The UFC] is very supportive. They’re very excited about the move…My goal is to get the 145-pound belt, and then go up to 155 and challenge for that belt as well.”
While not officially announced, UFC 131 is expected to take place on June 11, 2011 from the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Thanks to Mark Wayne for contributing to this article.