There will be many eager eyes locked into the upcoming UFC welterweight battle between champion Georges St-Pierre and BJ Penn at UFC 94, perhaps none more attentive than top lightweight contender Kenny Florian. With a 155-pound title shot already promised, Florian is just hoping for Penn to leave the Octagon healthy; win, lose or draw.
“…I spoke a little to Dana White about it, so I think that’s what’s probably going to happen,” Florian stated about when he might get his crack at the UFC lightweight champion. “Wait and see what happens with the BJ-GSP fight.”
First and foremost, Florian is an MMA fan just like the rest of us. He too can’t wait to see these two champions go at it. However from a selfish perspective, he is hoping that Penn leaves the Octagon healthy so he can get his title shot sooner rather than later.
“I’m going to stay busy definitely in the gym,” Florian said about his eminent fight with Penn. “I don’t really know what they have planned. If that’s the way it’s going to go down, I’ll definitely be willing to wait a little bit. It’s going to be tough, but we’ll see.”
The always respectful Florian received much criticism after he defeated Joe Stevenson in his last bout at UFC 91. In his post-fight Octagon interview he said, “I consider (Penn) a master, it’s time to kill that master.”
Perhaps his adrenaline got the better of him after his dominating performance, as he later explained his statement. It seemed to fall in line with the Florian that everyone has grown accustomed to.
“As a kid I always loved watching martial arts movies and I always wanted to be that ronin going around, traveling and training with the different masters and showing that you are the true master,” Florian stated. “In order to do that you had to beat the other masters, you had to beat the best masters in the land, and BJ’s one of those guys. That’s the way I see it.
“I like BJ. I definitely didn’t want to do it in a disrespectful manner cause I have so much respect for the kid. He’s such an awesome fighter, great kid. He’s one of those guys to look up to.”
Florian is currently still looking up at Penn in the rankings as well, however he plans on changing that shortly.