On a recent appearance on 98 Rock Baltimore with Justin Schlegel, UFC President Dana White tentatively confirmed rumors that the winner of the upcoming Kenny Florian-Gray Maynard lightweight matchup is likely to get a title shot against the winner of Saturday night’s lightweight title fight rematch between former champ BJ Penn and the man who took his belt Frankie Edgar.
“Yeah, the winner of this fight should definitely get the next title shot,” said White. “I mean, I got to to go in a fight-by-fight basis. Gray Maynard, who looked like he was in the line for the title, I gave it to Frankie Edgar and he won the title, so you never know.”
White will likely make his decision based on the performance of the winner of the Florian-Maynard contest; Maynard was thought by many to be next in line for a title shot but after a lackluster decision win over Nate Diaz, the shot was granted to Frankie Edgar (whom Maynard had previously beaten). Maynard is still on the cusp of a title shot but will have to get past perennial contender Kenny Florian if he hopes to capture gold. Florian could be facing a career crossroads; he is widely regarded as one of the best lightweights in the world but has fought for the title twice now and has lost both times. One more title fight loss could mean trouble for Florian in the lightweight division.
Florian and Maynard will meet this weekend at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts at UFC 118: Edgar vs. Penn II. Also featured on the card will be a boxing vs. MMA match between boxing veteran James “Lights Out” Toney and MMA veteran Randy “The Natural” Couture.