Today, the UFC confirmed that lightweight champ BJ Penn will make his first title defense since May of 2008 against Kenny Florian at UFC 101. Although the 5Round fight had been rumored for quite some time, it was never made official until this morning.
“BJ Penn is called ‘The Prodigy’ for a reason,” UFC president Dana White stated in today’s announcement. “He has proven to be dangerous in multiple weight classes, but he is definitely at his best at 155. Now the lightweight champ defends his title against top contender Kenny Florian, who has improved by leaps and bounds since his UFC debut on ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’ Originally known for his outstanding jiu-jitsu skills, Florian is now as well known for his devastating Muay Thai. Both of these guys excel standing and on the ground, so I am expecting nonstop action in this world title fight.”
Due to Penn’s unwavering pursuit to conquer multiple weight classes, he hasn’t defended his 155-pound title since defeating Sean Sherk at UFC 84 in May of last year. This will mark the Hawaiian’s first scrap since being thoroughly dominated by welterweight king Georges St-Pierre at UFC 94 earlier this year.
“I look forward to the challenge,” Penn previously stated.
Florian has 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.
After witnessing GSP’s utter domination of the 155-pound title holder, Florian will also be heading up to Montreal, Canada to see if he can cram in a brief session of “BJ Penn 101.″
The two will headline the organization’s August 8th show at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was announced a couple of weeks back that middleweight champ Anderson Silva will be taking on Forrest Griffin in a light heavyweight tilt as the night’s co-main event.
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