With the current UFC Lightweight Champion, BJ Penn, keeping any proposed match-ups for the belt in limbo due to his tireless bid for a rematch with Welterweight Champion, Georges St. Pierre, the top contenders in the Lightweight division pretty much have only two options. They can either sit on the sidelines waiting for Penn to decide which division he wants to fight in or they can throw caution to the wind and risk sharing the same fate as Karo Parysian – perpetually one solid fight away from a title shot. According to a report from MMAWeekly.com, Kenny Florian has chosen the latter.
After his three round domination of Roger Huerta, Florian is widely considered the top contender in his weight class but has made it crystal clear that he doesn’t want to sit out and wait for a title fight if it means he’ll be out of action for very long. On the heels of a rumored New Years Eve match between St. Pierre and Penn, Florian has agreed to fight Joe Stevenson instead.
While sources say that both agreed to the fight, but that contracts have yet to be signed, things may change now that it’s known that St. Pierre has requested some time off and has said that he most likely won’t fight again this year. If Florian were to beat Stevenson in November, no one could dispute his standing as the next contender but the quickest he would fight again, especially for a title, would be either January or February. That would mean Penn going eight or nine months between fights.
For now however, the fight between Florian and Stevenson seems solid and will most likely be a co-main event at UFC:91 on November 15th in Portland, OR.
Check back to Fightline.com often for more on this story as it develops.