It looks like two lightweights are hoping to get back into title contention with a fight on Super Bowl weekend. Kenny Florian has verbally agreed to meet Evan Dunham in a 155-pound contest on Feb. 5 at UFC 126.
Florian made the announcement on MMA Live on ESPN 2 Thursday night.
“We verbally agreed to fight Evan Dunham, which is great news,” Florian stated on the show. “Phenomenal opponent, very excited about, and it looks like it may happen on Super Bowl weekend.”
With a title shot on the line in his last fight, Florian (13-5) came up short against current top contender Gray Maynard in a hometown fight at UFC 118 in Boston. While Florian was not dominated, he still wasn’t able to pull the trigger and go after Maynard in the manner he had done in previous fights.
Concentrating on his wrestling since the fight, Florian pulled his hamstring derailing him from a potential fight with B.J. Penn in November, but now he’s healthy and ready to get back to action in February.
For his part, Dunham (11-1) may come into the February fight with a loss on his record, but most people would tell you that the Oregon native was anything but a loser in the fight with Sean Sherk at UFC 119. Dunham seemed to get the best of the former UFC lightweight champion, but the judges saw fit to award Sherk the split decision.
UFC president Dana White voiced his displeasure after the event stating he believed Dunham clearly won the bout. If Dunham is looking to take out his frustrations, it will be against Florian in February.
Sources close to Dunham’s camp had informed MMAWeekly.com that the Xtreme Couture fighter was planning some time off following the Sherk fight, which was his third bout for 2010. The opportunity to face Florian was an obviously enticing lure to get him back in the Octagon.
The Super Bowl card, tentatively titled UFC 126, will go down Feb. 5 with several other rumored fights being talked about for the event, but the UFC has yet to make any official announcements about the card.
UPDATE: Sources close to Evan Dunham’s camp spoke to MMAWeekly.com on Friday and stated that at this point no agreement has been made verbal or otherwise for a fight with Kenny Florian on Feb 5. While the sources made it clear that the fight could still happen, Dunham has not accepted the fight, nor has a date been officially set for the bout to happen.
Florian’s agent Malki Kawa also posted on Twitter on Friday that the fight was not official either, and that a search for opponents was underway.
MMAWeeekly will continue to follow this story as it develops.