Report: Stevenson Expects to Fight Penn

Joe Stevenson may very well be taking on B.J. Penn for the UFC Lightweight Title if current champion Sean Sherk’s October 31st appeal isn’t heard in a positive way according to The Fight Network:

The one-year suspension of champion Sean Sherk for alleged steroid use following his July 7 title defense to Hermes Franca at UFC 73 in Sacramento, Calif., has stalled plans to have the Minnesotan wrestler face number-one contender B.J. Penn at Nov. 17’s UFC 78 in Newark, N.J.

And while it appeared that Penn has been patiently awaiting a new opponent for Nov. in the interim, the popular Hawaiian’s camp has confirmed their leader is now preparing for a Dec. 29 match-up at UFC 79 in Las Vegas, Nev. Sherk faces the California State Athletic Commission on Oct. 31 to appeal his case, but if he cannot shake the suspension and is stripped of his title by Zuffa LLC, Penn (11-4-1) could face UFC 74 standout Joe Stevenson (28-7).

“I was told I was definitely fighting in December or January,” said Stevenson Thursday. “I think there’s a strong possibility I’ll face B.J. Penn.”

So it seems that the UFC has a backup plan already set just in case Sherk’s positive test isn’t overturned. However, what happens if Sherk is permitted to remain champion? It’s obvious that Penn is the number one contender and would take on Sherk. So what about Stevenson? With Guida-Huerta and Fisher-Edgar already unofficially locked up, Kenny Florian may be the only other option for a Stevenson opponent.

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