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BJ Penn Won’t Be Ready For UFC 99

BJ PennSo much for Penn vs. Florian headlining UFC 99.

It’s not going to happen according to a report on Sherdog.com. Penn’s brother, JD, informed Sherdog that Penn needs to take some time off to spend with his family and his new baby daughter. So instead of June 13, they’re looking at “late July or early August,” presumably UFC 101, for BJ’s first lightweight title defense in over a year.

Naturally, Kenny Florian, being the professional that he is, seemed to take it in stride, only caring that the fight will actually happen.

“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,” he 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.”

So, sorry Germany, unless the UFC decides to book Rashad Evans’ first title defense at UFC 99, which seems unlikely, you won’t be getting a title fight at your first UFC event. Keep your hopes up though, maybe they’ll still come through with Mirko ‘Cro Cop.’

As for Penn’s lightweight title, if he doesn’t defend it until August, that will make for approximately 14 months in between title defenses. In the interest of actually seeing the lightweight title defended on an at least semi-regular basis, perhaps we should all root for Kenny “to kill the master.”

Otherwise, it might be 2011 before the UFC Lightweight Championship is put back up grabs. I don’t know about you, but four title fights in about as many years isn’t quite satisfying my appetite.

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