Florian's move to featherweight is a bit of an experiment for starters, to see how he handles the cut and performs at 145 lbs., but though his goal at the weight is a fight with current champ Jose Aldo, he's still got unfinished business at 155 lbs.
"As far as I'm concerned, I know I've done well at 55 and I know I can be a champion at 155," Florian said in comments made to MMAWeekly.com. "[The move to featherweight] all started when I was offered a fight with Jose Aldo at 155 pounds, and when that opportunity arose, I just started thinking 'Jose won't go up to 155, could I be able to make it at 145?' Anyone can make 45, but the question of getting there and being able to perform well [was there] and [my coaches] felt that I would be able to do that."
"For me, going down to 145, I see it as a new challenge in my career. I see it as an opportunity to face one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world in Jose Aldo, hopefully, down the line. That's really what I see it as. Going down to 45 as a new challenge, and I expect to be at 155 [again] soon."
Florian vs. Nunes takes place on the main card of UFC 131 on June 11 from the Rogers Arena in Vancouver. The event is headlined by the heavyweight fight between Junior Dos Santos and Shane Carwin.
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Penick's Analysis: Florian's consistently delivered solid performances in his time with the UFC, and though he's failed to do the same in his biggest fights, he is still a major force at both featherweight and lightweight. If he gets past a very tough challenge in Nunes next month he'll likely be the next in line for a Featherweight Championship fight after Chad Mendes gets his shot this summer. But I think we're likely to see him take fights in both divisions throughout the next few years, and he'll likely keep himself in the mix at the top of both divisions as well.
[Kenny Florian art by Cory Gould (c) MMATorch.com]