You heard it here first: Kenny Florian will never get a title shot, at least not against BJ Penn.
And it’s not because he can’t beat Joe Stevenson, at UFC 91. I think Florian will have just enough firepower to get the decision win over Joe Daddy. Look for KenFlo’s elbows to be flying all over the place.
He won’t get his title shot because of who the UFC will make him fight after Stevenson. It’s the man who handled Florian and got the convincing decision win back at UFC 63. It’s the same man who recently won “fight of the night” by narrowly beating Tyson Griffin at UFC 90.
Sean Sherk is already calling for the winner of the fight between Florian vs. Stevenson. I am sure he would be more then happy to face Kenny a second time. The first time he beat Florian it was for the reinstatement of the UFC lightweight title.
“Penn was coming off back to back wins over Joe Stevenson and Sean Sherk, at UFC 80 and 84 respectively. UFC 91 would have been a perfect date for Florian vs. Penn to take place.”
Sherk went on to have his title taken away when he tested positive for steroids. Sherk adamantly denies the results of that test. One thing no one can deny is that Sherk dominated Florian for 5 rounds, winning 4 those rounds in most people’s opinions.
Let’s take a step back for a minute. Technically, Florian should have already gotten his title shot. With his impressive decision win over Roger Huerta, at UFC 87, he’s put together a 5-0 record since losing to Sherk.
He looked to be next in line to challenge BJ for the lightweight title.
Penn was coming off back to back wins over Joe Stevenson and Sean Sherk, at UFC 80 and 84 respectively. UFC 91 would have been a perfect date for Florian vs. Penn to take place.
But BJ Penn had something else in mind: A superfight with Georges St Pierre. He looks to be getting his wish at UFC 94. BJ Penn, with the help of Dana White, has put the lightweight division in limbo in search of pay-per-view glory.
But Kenny didn’t wine or pout; like Fabricio Werdum did when denied a title shot in favor of a more marketable fight. And unlike Werdum, don’t look for KenFlo to get caught off guard. He was eager to get back into the octagon against a quality opponent and the UFC gave him Stevenson.
For the record, Kenny was actually requesting a fight with Frankie Edgar. But Florian is a gamer and will be ready for anything that Joe Daddy throws at him. He will have to be watchful of Stevenson’s dangerous submissions.
Assuming Florian beats Stevenson, it seems like a foregone conclusion that he will be fighting Sean Sherk. Looking ahead, UFC 95 in England, or UFC 96, rumored to be in Ohio, would be an ideal time for the rematch. Don’t be surprised if it is once again for the lightweight title. It all depends on what happens at UFC 93, when BJ Penn challenges Georges St. Pierre for the welterweight title.
If Penn does beat GSP, and in fact wins the welterweight belt, two things could happen:
1. Penn could vacate the lightweight belt and the theoretical fight between Sherk/Florian would determine the new lightweight champion.
2. Penn could keep both belts and then the Sherk/Florian fight would ideally crown the interim champion. BJ can come back to unify the division after he defends against Thiago Alves.
If Penn loses, look for him to come back, lick his wounds, and defend his lightweight belt. But will he be licking Sean Sherk’s blood again or will he be gunning for Florian? And who knows when he will actually come back to defend it? No matter what happens, Sherk/Florian should be for the title, interim or outright.
Now back to what the title of the article asserted: Kenny Florian will never get a title shot, at least not against BJ Penn. That’s because, if he in fact does fight Sean Sherk, he will get out-muscled once again by “The Muscle Shark.”