At UFC 91 Kenny Florian cemented himself as the UFC #1 contender in its lightweight division. With that win Dana White guaranteed that Florian would have a shot at current LW champ BJ Penn. The only problem is that BJ Penn is moving up to the welterweight division to have a 'superfight' with Georges St. Pierre. So with that fight happening in January, Florian will be sitting on the shelf for months before getting his title shot. Should he wait for the shot at BJ Penn, or take care of some unfinished business against Sean Sherk? Florian appeared on MMAWeekly's Radio Show and gave his thoughts on both scenarios.
On waiting for the title shot:
"If the UFC makes that decision then that's what I'm going to do," Florian said about waiting for his shot at the title. "I'm going to stay busy definitely in the gym. I don't really know what they have planned. If that's the way it's going to go down, I'll definitely be willing to wait a little bit. It's going to be tough, but we'll see."
On not waiting and taking a fight with Sean Sherk:
"I would love to fight Sean Sherk again. I think he's a phenomenal fighter, definitely think he's a Top 10 fighter, no doubt about it, and I've got to thank him," said Florian. "He's the one that really got me to step up my game, really commit myself as a fighter and as an athlete.
"This one would be ten times better and I believe with a different result."
This is a pretty tough situation to be in as a fighter. The outcome of Penn/GSP 2 obviously is going to play a big factor in what he does. If Penn goes on to lose to GSP for a second time, then Penn can just come back and defend his title against Florian. However, if Penn beats GSP then Thiago Alves has been promised a shot at the welterweight title. In fact, he will have been on the shelf longer than Florian in waiting for a title shot.
If I were Kenny Florian I wouldn't wait for the title shot, and I would take the fight against Sean Sherk for a few reasons:
- I get to avenge a loss on my record against a top ten opponent(yep, Sherk is top ten and if you don't believe that you are delusional)
- Taking that fight would put money in his pocket(sitting on the shelf gets you nothing)
- Beating Sherk would make the fight against Penn that much bigger
In my opinion taking the fight against Sherk has many more pro's than con's when compared to waiting for the title shot. I mean if he waits for the title shot, the earliest it could happen is somewhere around April and that's IF GSP beats Penn. If Penn beats GSP, then you would have to think that Thiago Alves would rightfully get his welterweight title shot first. At that point Alves would have been sitting on the sidelines for about 6 months. This is exactly why I'm not the biggest fan of granting BJ Penn the opportunity to hold two belts at the same time.
So after looking at this crazy scenario, if I were Florian I'd take the Sherk fight. My motivation would be to stop Sherk convincingly, and create a superfight against BJ Penn. The fact of the matter is, before Florian stopped Joe Stevenson at UFC 91 nobody was really looking forward to a Florian/Penn showdown. After his performance against Stevenson, and a big win over Sherk would definitely make Penn vs. Florian a lot more interesting.