Kenny Florian is officially 1-0 as a 145lber, and it appears his 2nd fight in the division will be for the UFC featherweight title.
Following UFC 131 in which Florian won a unanimous decision over top ten fighter Diego Nunes, UFC President Dana White put him next in line for a crack at Jose Aldo.
“More than likely, how’s that for confirmation?” White answered when asked if Florian was next in line to face Aldo.
The UFC’s reigning featherweight champion was originally scheduled to meet Chad Mendes at UFC 133 in August, but a lingering injury forced Aldo out of action until at least late September.
In the meantime, Mendes opted to stay on the card at UFC 133 and will face Rani Yahya in a featherweight bout on the card.
At least for now it looks like Mendes’ decision to keep fighting will land Florian a shot at Jose Aldo and the UFC featherweight belt.
“This is why I’m in the UFC, to fight the best guys and to test myself,” Florian said after UFC 131.
“I want a shot at the belt. I think Jose Aldo’s one of the best fighters in the game, and a lot of respect for him, big fan, but I think every UFC fighter’s dream is and should be to be a UFC champion.”
When Aldo was forced out of the August 6 card, his manager Ed Soares told MMAWeekly.com that he would likely be able to sign on for a fight as early as the UFC 135 card in Denver on Sept 24.
“I would feel comfortable signing a bout agreement for him to fight at the end of September. For whatever that’s worth,” Soares said about Aldo’s timetable to return.
It’s more likely that an Aldo vs. Florian fight would be held for a card such as UFC 136 in October in Houston, which will also feature the next UFC Fan Expo.
UFC officials had previously planned to hold the heavyweight title fight between Cain Velasquez and new No. 1 contender Junior Dos Santos on the card, but UFC President Dana White stated recently that the fight would likely take place in ’4 to 5 months’ and not as soon as they would have liked.
An Aldo vs. Florian main event or co-main event could be just the fight the UFC needs to help push the October card.