Penn's official website stated Friday evening that Florian has already signed the bout agreement and that Penn has received the contract and is expected to sign.
Penn will have gone without defending his lightweight belt for over fourteen months. His last defense was at TKO victory over Sean Sherk at UFC 84 in May 2008. Penn lost in January at UFC 94 to Georges St-Pierre in a welterweight title bout.
"I look forward to the challenge," Penn stated.
Florian's last fight was a dominant submission win over Joe Stevenson last November at UFC 91. With a title shot secured, Florian chose to wait patiently until Penn was ready to fight. Florian is on a six-fight win streak and his last loss was in a vacant title bout versus Sherk.
"It has been a long road back and I am very grateful for the opportunity," Florian said on Thursday. "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."