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Kenny Florian will make featherweight debut against Diego Nunes at UFC 131 on June 11

Making his featherweight debut, Kenny Florian (left) will face Diego Nunes at UFC 131. Photo credit: Sherdog

Top-10 ranked lightweight Kenny “KenFlo” Florian will make his 145-pound debut against WEC veteran and top-10 featherweight Diego “The Gun” Nunes at UFC 131 on June 11 in Vancouver.

Florian (13-5) made the announcement on ESPN’s MMA Live on Friday.

The 34-year-old BJJ black belt has been considered one of the top lightweights for years, but after dropping two title shots and a title eliminator bout against undefeated Gray Maynard last August, Florian has decided he will give the UFC’s new 145-pound division a run.

Florian talked to ProMMAnow.com about the decision:

“I didn’t really think about [changing weight classes] until the fight against Aldo was proposed at 155 and Jose didn’t take the fight. But I started thinking about it and people were telling me I could be able to get down to 145. I spoke to a few nutritionists that confirmed it and then made my decision based on that.”

Nunes (16-1), a 28-year-old Brazilian from Rio Grande do Sul, made his U.S. pro MMA debut in Dec. 2008 with a unanimous decision victory over Cole Province at WEC 37.

Following that, he scored a unanimous decision win over Rafael Dias at WEC 42 in Aug. 2009, but then lost a unanimous decision against L.C. Davis three months later at WEC 44. It remains his only loss.

Nunes bounced back in 2010 with a split decision win over Raphael Assuncao at WEC 49 and a unanimous decision over Tyler Toner at WEC 51.

Nunes made his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut at UFC 131 on Jan. 1 by handing former WEC featherweight champion Mike Thomas Brown his second straight loss.

A win for Florian or Nunes on June 11 could put either fighter very close to a shot at UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo‘s title.

A heavyweight top-contender bout between “The Ultimate Fighter 13″ coaches Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos is expected to headline UFC 131. Also, heavyweight Dave “Pee Wee” Herman is expected to make his UFC debut on this card against Britain’s Rob “The Bear” Broughton.

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