White: Kenny Florian may get title shot
Kenny Florian now knows what he has to do to get a shot at the UFC 145-pound title.
UFC president Dana White told Florian that, if he beats Diego Nunes in Florian's featherweight debut scheduled for June 11 in Vancouver, that he'd "probably" get a title shot.
White made the comments during a taping of ESPN's "MMA Live." Florian is an analyst on the show.
"Oh, here we go," White said when Florian asked him about a possible title shot. "This is usually what the reporters ask me, and now you're the reporter and the fighter.
"Everybody knows where you stand in the sport and obviously, if you can get in there -- yes. You make that weight Kenny and, yeah, you're probably going to get the next title shot."
Florian (13-5) has fought the majority of his career at 155 pounds. He's fallen short in two previous bids for the UFC lightweight title, dropping a unanimous decision to Sean Sherk in October 2006 and a fourth-round submission loss to B.J. Penn in August 2009.
After a rumored lightweight bout against current featherweight champion Jose Aldo fell through when Aldo refused to move up in weight, Florian announced on ESPN.com he was considering a drop in weight class to challenge the Brazillian at 145.
That news became official in February, when Florian agreed to make his featherweight debut against Nunes at UFC 131.
"For me, it's first things first," Florian said at the time of the announcement. "My goal is to get the 145-pound belt and then go up to 155 and challenge for that belt as well."
Aldo (18-1) is scheduled to defend his UFC title for the first time against Mark Hominick this weekend at UFC 129 in Toronto. He captured the WEC featherweight belt in November 2009 with a TKO win over Mike Brown and defended it twice, over Urijah Faber and Manny Gamburyan, before the promotion was folded into the UFC earlier this year.
Brett Okamoto covers mixed martial arts for ESPN.com.