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Maggie Hendricks

Florian can handle time off. Fans can't

Maggie Hendricks
Cagewriter

Kenny Florian's convincing win over Joe Stevenson ensured that he will have a shot at the lightweight belt. But when? Current lightweight champ B.J. Penn will fight Georges St. Pierre for the welterweight title on January 31, 2009. This means that Penn won't be available to fight again until April, at the earliest. Matt Hughes mentioned that he will fight Matt Serra in mid-April. Perhaps Penn-Florian could headline the card.

A layoff like this is not odd for Florian. After choking out Din Thomas in September of 2007, he didn't fight again until he TKO'ed Joe Lauzon in April of this year. He had no trouble shaking off the cage rust and winning, and then going on to two great wins -- a decision against Roger Huerta and Saturday's win over Stevenson -- later this year.

Fans, on the other hand, aren't quite as patient. One blogger thinks that the title fight will not happen because the UFC will force Florian into a fight before his bout with Penn. Posters at different forums discussing the UFC agree. And what happens if Penn beats GSP? Will he face the top welterweight challenger, Thiago Alves, or Florian first? No matter what happens, the "superfight" between Penn and GSP will affect many other fighters, especially Florian.

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