According to a video blog posted on the bjpenn.com site Wednesday, B.J. Penn believes his next title defense will come at an April Abu Dhabi event.
The unofficial odds on his TBD opponent:
• Gray Maynard (-120): The 6-0 lightweight needs to avenge an "Ultimate Fighter" loss to Nate Diaz on Monday. Of the available lightweights, he represents possibly the best chance to get Penn on the ground.
• Frankie Edgar (+100): The second most-deserving contender and perhaps warming the seat in the event Diaz succeeds. Edgar's participation might prompt the UFC to move the bout to the March 27 show, in Edgar's home state of New Jersey.
• Tyson Griffin (+250): A fight or two short of making a big statement at 155; might be considered if Maynard loses and Edgar is hurt or unavailable. Can come out to "Eye of the Tiger," which is never unwelcome.
• Jose Aldo (+500): It would be fun, and Aldo would probably enjoy a 150-pound catchweight, but he has a lot of work to do in his own weight class first.
• Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante (+700): Before an injury-addled '09 slump, Cavalcante was at the top of the non-UFC prospects. He's eyeing a March return to Japan's Dream promotion, but if he's interested in defecting, a 14-3 career mark and two wins in Dream's Grand Prix tournaments would make him a plausible addition to the short list of contenders.
• Gilbert Melendez (+1500): Strikeforce's lightweight champion and possibly Penn's biggest threat in the class, period. Facilitated only by a Dana White aneurysm/coma parlay (+3000).