BJ Penn and Joe Stevenson will be fighting on January 19 for the lightweight title; and according to Dana White, the winner of that fight will immediately face Sean Sherk.
“I have nothing but respect for Sean Sherk and I believe he’s been honest throughout this whole process,” said UFC President Dana White. “But BJ Penn and Joe Stevenson will be fighting for the lightweight title at UFC 80 on January 19th and Sean Sherk will fight the winner for the title.”
A possible wrinkle could develop if BJ Penn wins his match-up versus Joe Stevenson, as Penn has stated publicly that he would not fight Sherk if his suspension for using steroids was upheld. Sean Sherk learned last week that his suspension, though reduced, will be upheld. It remains to be seen if Penn will follow through on his statement to avoid Sherk, but if his past is any indication, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he opted not to face the former champion.