Penn vs Florian set for UFC 101
The anticipated showdown between UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn and number one contender Kenny Florian will finally take place. A blog post on Penn’s official website stated that Florian has already signed his bout agreement and “as for B.J., we received the bout agreement (Friday) afternoon and plan on making this fight happen.”
The post states the bout will headline UFC 101 on Aug. 8 in Philadelphia.
The bout will be Penn’s first defense of his lightweight title since defeating Sean Sherk at UFC 84 in May of last year. It will also mark his first action in the Octagon since a loss to UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre at UFC 94 in January, which has been mired in controversy over accusations of improper usage of Vaseline by St. Pierre’s camp.
“I look forward to the challenge,” Penn stated about the defense.
Florian earned his title shot – the second of his UFC career – by building a current six-fight winning streak, which includes back-to-back victories over Joe Stevenson and Roger Huerta in his most recent fights. He has been waiting for this opportunity for nearly a year while the Penn vs. St. Pierre mega-fight ran its course.
Earlier this week, Florian stated, “It has been a long road back and I am very grateful for the opportunity. Rarely does one get the chance to fight for a championship belt in the UFC and it’s even more infrequent to fight a legend.
“B.J. Penn has been someone I have looked up to for a long time. He has accomplished many amazing things. So I am looking forward to testing myself against one of the greatest if not the greatest lightweight fighter in the world.”
The bout and event have yet to be officially announced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship, but several sources had already indicated the likelihood of UFC 101 taking place in Philadelphia instead of Portland, Ore., as first thought.