by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn on Wednesday gave a little glimpse into his fighting future, saying that he is likely to next defend his title on April 10 in an as yet announced event in Abu Dhabi.
“We talked to Dana White. We were trying to get on the March 27 card (UFC 111 in New Jersey),” said Penn in his video blog on BJPenn.com. “That card already had two title fights on it (Georges St-Pierre vs. Dan Hardy and Frank Mir vs. Shane Carwin).
“It looks like we’ll be fighting April 10 in Abu Dhabi. Nothing is signed, so tentative date, April 10. We’ll see how everything goes. Hope everything goes well,” he closed.
Penn didn’t give any indication as to who his next opponent would be, but MMAWeekly.com sources are pointing towards to leading candidates, Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar. Edgar would appear to make more sense given the timetable with Maynard fighting Monday night against Nate Diaz at UFC Fight Night 20 in Virginia. It is possible, however, that he could be ready for a title challenge in April if he emerges unscathed.
The UFC hasn’t officially announced the Abu Dhabi event yet, but when asked about the potential event, UFC president Dana White recently said, “It’s on. I mean, we haven’t announced it, but I’m very confident it’s going to happen, very confident.”
Penn (15-5-1) last fought at UFC 107 on Dec. 12, when he dominated Diego Sanchez en route to a fifth round TKO stoppage. He has stumbled only at welterweight since returning to the UFC in early 2006. He is 5-0 at lightweight in the Octagon since that time, defending his belt three times. His only loss at lightweight was a decision to Jens Pulver in 2002, a loss he has since avenged.
No bouts have been confirmed for Abu Dhabi, but MMAWeekly.com sources indicated that, if he is healed up in time, UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva could defend his title against Vitor Belfort on April 10, and former welterweight champion Matt Hughes could return to face Renzo Gracie in his Octagon debut.
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