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Florian Signs Contract, Talks BJ

Written by Tom Ngo
March 30th, 2009
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After many months of waiting and debating, lightweight top contender Kenny Florian is finally getting his shot at BJ Penn’s 155-pound title. The two will clash in a 5Round affair at UFC 101 on August 8th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

This is what the Bostonian wrote on his personal newsletter:

I have some exciting news to share with you. Accordingly, I am happy to announce that I will be fighting BJ Penn on August 8th in Philadelphia, PA at UFC 101 for the UFC Lightweight title. I signed the fight contract over the weekend.

Fans in Boston and on the East Coast have been going nuts knowing that the UFC is coming back to our side of the states. Fighting in Philadelphia will be an amazing experience! I have many, many friends in the Philadelphia area.

How can I NOT think about one of my favorite movies “Rocky” when you mention the “City of Brotherly Love”? Philly is home to such boxing legends as Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier and Bernard Hopkins – so we all know it is a true fighting town. Like Boston, Philly is recognized for its world-class institutions, passionate sports fans and hard working people.

It’s going to be my first time fighting on the East Coast for the UFC and I will be training hard to represent my “Beast Coast” fans! My training camp will begin in June and then it will be full steam ahead till August.

The e-mails have been pouring in and I really appreciate the huge support from my fans all over the world.

BJ Penn has been a wrecking machine at 155lbs and I guarantee that our fight will showcase MMA at its highest level.
Stay safe and stay with the Flo!! – Kenny

Florian has already been training his tail off at head coach Mark DellaGrotte’s Sityodtong gym since his Terminator-like victory over Joe Stevenson at UFC 91 late last year.

He will also be heading up to Montreal, Canada to pick the brain of UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, who recently held a “BJ Penn 101” clinic at UFC 94, in which he overwhelmed the Hawaiian through 20 dominating minutes.

Due to Penn’s undying aspirations to run two UFC weight classes, the 155-pound title hasn’t been defended since Penn defeated Sean Sherk at UFC 84 last May.

Late last week, Penn confirmed his participation in the scrap.

“I look forward to the challenge,” Penn said on his blog.

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