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Florian: I will be fighting Penn later this summer

Kenny Florian (11-3) will soon begin formal preparations for his lightweight title fight against champion BJ Penn (13-5-1) this summer.

In his newsletter sent out Thursday morning, Florian said he's looking forward to challenging an opponent whom he considers a legend in the sport.

"I am very excited to let you know that while I don't have a definite date yet, I will be fighting BJ Penn for the Lightweight UFC title later this summer," Florian said. "It has been a long road back and I am very grateful for the opportunity. Rarely does one get the chance to fight for a championship belt in the UFC and it's even more infrequent to fight a legend.

"BJ Penn has been someone I have looked up to for a long time. He has accomplished
many amazing things. So I am looking forward to testing myself against one of the
greatest if not the greatest lightweight fighter in the world."

UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta has said that the UFC is working on signing the fight for UFC 101 on August 8 in Philadelphia. After clinching a title shot with a win last November over Joe Stevenson at UFC 91, Florian waited on the sidelines as Penn set his sights on the January 31 welterweight title bout against Georges St-Pierre. If Penn vs. Florian happens in August, Florian would be fighting on a nine-month hiatus.