Kenny Florian retires from MMA

LAS VEGAS -- Kenny Florian has officially retired from mixed martial arts after a nine-year professional career. He finishes with a record of 14-6, including 12 wins in the UFC.

Florian, 36, hasn't fought since dropping a unanimous decision to UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo in a title fight last October. A nagging back injury has kept him out of action in 2012.

When Florian reinjured the area several weeks ago in Los Angeles, he decided to give up his pro career and focus on a broadcasting career as a UFC commentator.

"It's something I've been grappling with for awhile," Florian told ESPN.com. "I think any inkling I had of returning was kind of killed a few weeks ago when I reinjured it.

"I've experimented with (the injury) since November. It's been tough. Right now, I have so many other opportunities coming my way. When I look at it, I've had a great career. Now it's time to pursue other things."

Florian likely will go down as one of the most talented UFC fighters to never win a title. He challenged for UFC gold three times in his career -- twice as a lightweight and once as a featherweight.

The majority of his career took place in the UFC. The promotion signed him as a cast member on the first season of "The Ultimate Fighter" in 2005, where he advanced to the middleweight tournament final against Diego Sanchez.

He went on to compete in four different weight classes during his time with the promotion, recording 10 finishes along the way.

"He's been an amazing fighter, an amazing ambassador for this sport and for this company," said UFC president Dana White.