According to a new report on Sherdog, BJ Penn won’t be available for a lightweight title defense against Kenny Florian until late July or August, because he wants to spend time with his new daughter. Though Dana White — and BJ Penn’s facebook page — previously stated that the Penn/Florian tilt was a possibility to headline UFC 99 (June 13th; Cologne, Germany), it’s looking like the match could headline the as-of-yet unannounced UFC 101 or 102 cards.
If Penn does agree to a fight in late July, it will have been 14 months since the last time the UFC’s lightweight title was up for grabs — and eight months since Kenny Florian last stepped into the Octagon. It’s a long layoff, but whaddya gonna do:
“For me, it’s the fight that I want and it’s the fight he wants and we both need to come to terms on it, so if that’s what I need to do to make it happen, if I have to wait, then I have no choice,” [Florian] said.
Florian, 32, said he could adjust his training as needed. Still, a postponed date would effect the Boston native in a way the affluent Penn family never has to worry about.
“Schedule-wise it makes it a little difficult because money-wise, you expect a certain amount to come in and I’ve been trying to budget things accordingly,” said Florian, who earned $80,000 for his last win. “It might be a little tougher now.”
It’s a bummer, but waiting for your title shot is still a better option than taking a placeholder bout just to stay busy, and running the risk of getting Paulo Thiago‘d.
Semi-Related: Even if Penn is ready to fight by early July, the lineup for the UFC’s monumental 100th (-ish) event (July 11th, Las Vegas) might already be too crowded. In addition to the GSP/Alves and Henderson/Bisping fights, the rumor of a Randy Couture vs. Fedor Emelianenko one-off match has reared its head again, thanks to UFC-approved journalist Kevin Iole.