BJ Penn has been bumped from the UFC 78 card in Newark, N.J., on November 17 and will instead fight at UFC 79 on December 29 in Las Vegas, Nevada, according to FightNetwork.com.
Here's the snip:
"... 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...."
The reason for the switch has everything to do with the uncertainty involving the status of the lightweight title. Current champion, Sean Sherk, was penciled in to defend the 155-pound crown against Penn; however, Sherk tested positive for steroids after his win over Hermes Franca at UFC 73 in July.
"The Muscle Shark" is scheduled to appeal the finding before the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) on October 31 — little more than two weeks prior to the Newark event.
Put simply, the UFC can't promote a show for which it has no main event set in such a short amount of time.
Therefore, Penn will fight for the title one month later on New Year's Eve weekend against Sherk, or he will face Joe Stevenson for the vacant strap if the Sherk ruling is upheld and he is stripped of the title.
Here's a snip from "Daddy:"
"I was told I was definitely fighting in December or January. I think there's a strong possibility I'll face B.J. Penn."
That means that two championships will be on the line on December 29 — UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Serra takes on Matt Hughes in the main event of the evening. However, the recent news means that UFC 78 is now void of championship main event.
So can the potential rematch between Tito Ortiz and Rashad Evans slated for the newly-built Prudential Arena be a big enough draw?
You tell us. In the meantime check out the latest UFC 78 fight card right here.