The UFC has confirmed it’s two main attraction bouts scheduled for UFC 101. B.J. Penn will be returning to lightweight to defend his title against Kenny Florian while Anderson Silva will move up a weight class for the first time since his trouncing of James Irvin to face off with former UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin.
The event is scheduled to take place at the Wachovia center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 8.
The bout between Silva and Griffin progressed rapidly from being an expected fight to official since earlier this afternoon while the Penn vs. Florian match-up has finally been made official after long being expected for the event.
B.J. Penn will be dropping back down to the 155 pound division after taking a shellacking at the hands of UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre in a bout that was abundant with much talked about post-fight greasing drama. The Hilo based champion will be looking to defend his championship a second consecutive time after capturing the vacant strap in a bout with Joe Stevenson at UFC 80. Penn is widely regarded to be the very best lightweight fighter in the world along with being one of the pound for pound best in the business.
Kenny Florian earned his crack at the 155 pound championship by stringing together six straight wins over some of the best competition the UFC has had to offer since coming up on the losing end of a unanimous decision in a bout that was for the vacant lightweight championship to Sean Sherk in October of 2006. Since that defeat Florian has compiled wins over Roger Huerta, Joe Stevenson, Joe Lauzon and more, and has looked incredibly impressive while doing it.
Anderson Silva is fresh off of his highly scrutinized championship defense against Thales Leites at UFC 97where neither fighter went out of their way to give the crowd their money’s worth. Regardless of his last performance, which was a completely dominant one, Silva has established himself as one of the UFC’s most successful fighters and longest reigning champions.
Griffin will be looking to rebound from his light heavyweight championship defeat to Rashad Evans after taking the strap from Quniton Jackson in a hard fought battle. Griffin’s well roundness and natural size are sure to give Silva a handful of problems he hadn’t encountered in his previous move up to 205 pounds against James Irvin in July of 2008.