UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn will be defending his title against #1 contender Diego Sanchez at UFC 107 according to UFC President Dana White.
“BJ is fighting December 12,” White stated Thursday afternoon in a video blog on BJPenn.com.
Penn has run roughshod through the lightweight division since he re-entered it a couple of years back. The Hawaiian has rolled off four straight 155-pound wins en route to capturing the title, all ending before the final horn.
“He’s really good; he’s really explosive,” Penn previously stated of Sanchez. “He’s shown that he has some knockout power and he’s a very good grappler. He’s very hungry; he’s shown that he wants to be a champion someday. This is an important fight.”
This will be Sanchez’ first-ever title fight, however that has more to do with his division hopping rather than his game. After taking “The Ultimate Fighter 1″ middleweight crown, Sanchez dropped to the welterweight division before finally making the appropriate move to the lightweight class.
White had hinted the two would headline a free fight card in November, but it would not be on Spike TV. Considering all UFC events not aired on pay-per-view have almost always been broadcast on Spike, this lead many to believe that the UFC was a lot closer to inking a major network deal than expected.
“It’s Penn-Sanchez, but I don’t know where yet,” White stated at the UFC 102 post fight press conference. “We’re working on a deal right now.”
UFC 107 will reportedly be taking place inside the FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee and will also feature a light heavyweight grudge match between this season’s “TUF” coaches, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Rashad Evans. Jackson just so happens to be born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee.
Here’s how the rumored UFC 107 card currently looks:
Thiago Alves vs. Paulo Thiago
Cheick Kongo vs. Frank Mir
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Rashad Evans
BJ Penn vs. Diego Sanchez (UFC Lightweight championship)