UFC 94: St-Pierre Vs. Penn 2 In-Depth Analysis
On Saturday, two of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters of all time, BJ Penn and Georges St-Pierre, will go toe-to-toe the second-time in UFC 94. Fortunately, the fight card for UFC 94 is nothing similar to the last mediocre event. This sold-out event offers a lot of interesting fights that’s going to keep your butt off the seat.
Georges “Rush” St-Pierre vs. BJ “The Prodigy” Penn
After BJ lost a close split decision to GSP in 2006, a rematch was inevitable. If anyone still remembers the fight, BJ decisively won the first half of the fight, but lost the second half after his bad conditioning kicked in. That same night, “The Prodigy” didn’t get a scratch on his face, but GSP’s face was bleeding so bad that he had to spend a night in the hospital. Granted, both fighters had flaws at the time (For BJ, it was his cardio and the will to conquer, and for GSP, it was his youth), but the two are no longer the same fighters as three years ago, with BJ and GSP both dominate the lightweight and welterweight divisions respectively.
Let’s first talk about GSP. For someone who has accomplished so much, it’s hard to believe that GSP is only 27 years old. A classy French-Canadian gentleman who has a tremendous heart, well-rounded techniques, focused mindset, and eagerness to improve. A very strong welterweight that many believe he will hold the belt until the day he quits. So talented that he can even challenge the likes of Anderson Silva in the middleweight division. A man who is now so perfect in all aspects, who can be defeated by only himself (like what he did to himself in his first title defense against Matt Serra).
But I’m more of a fan of BJ Penn. Everyone respects this man and love to hate him at the same time. He’s a trash talker, and his ego is not measurable. A little guy who was so confident in himself that he would abandon his UFC welterweight title to take on other new challenges in Japan. Throughout his career, he’s fought across weight classes, believing that his skills and will alone can overcome the size differences. At one point, he even moved up to light heavyweight and challenged Ryoto Machida with huge weight disadvantage. Despite all the crazyness about BJ Penn, his legacy and raw-talent are undeniable. Like Dana White mentioned in an interview, “The Prodigy” definitely has all the skills and toughness in the world to fight anyone, but his body frame is not built to fight beyond the lightweight division, which I totally agree.
In the past, we’d witnessed BJ’s fatique when he took on larger opponents. GSP is no small guy, and he’ll have to cut weight in order to fight BJ. After the official weigh-in, expect GSP to jump right back up to 185 lbs range. There had been accusations of BJ being too laid back because of his cardio problem in the past, but this will never be a problem as long as he stays in lightweight, where he’s forced to work hard to lose the weight. No matter how skilled BJ is, I still don’t believe he can last five rounds with a much heavier and stronger, but also a tough opponent like GSP. And knowing that BJ is not the type to be finished easily, my pick is GSP by unanimous decision. After all, I’m sure this outcome is what the UFC wants because a single fighter defending two titles is never good for the business and challengers waiting in line. A fighter usually fights no more than three times a year. Can you imagine how many title fights we are going to be able to watch this year if BJ has two belts around his waist?
Ryoto “Lyoto” Machida vs Thiago Silva
Two great fighters, both undefeated, but only one will retain a perfect record after the night. Silva is a powerful and aggressive fighter, who also has excellent jiu-jitsu and good ground-and-pound. Machida on the other hand is a very technical but passive fighter, whose awkward karate fighting style has confused so many of his opponents in the past. But no matter how many more people doubt Machida’s ability, my money is still on him. For someone who had defeated BJ Penn (although by decision), Rich Franklin, Stephan Bonnar, and Tito Ortiz in the past has nothing left to prove. But expect a great fight because with Silva’s aggressiveness pressing forward, we’ll see “Lyoto” stay busy in the entire fight.
Nate Diaz vs Clay “The Carpenter” Guida
Can you believe a guy like Guida who has had 33 professional fights is just as young as GSP? The guy had nine losses so far, but for someone who used to fight literally ten times a year, you simply can’t blame him for it. There should be no questions on Guida’s ability, as we’ve all witnessed his aggressiveness and wrestling skills in his past fights, especially in his fight with Roger Huerta. Now, the brother of Nick Diaz, Nate, is a young and pissed off fighter, who hasn’t lost a fight since he won the Ultimate Fighter Season 5, will finally face his toughest challenge to date. Submitting a wild man like Guida will definitely help Diaz rise to superstardom, but this is going to be tough, very tough. I can only picture this happening if Guida makes a mistake and Diaz finds an opening. My pick is Guida by TKO.
Stephan “The American Psycho” Bonnar vs Jon “Bones” Jones
Forgive my ignorance in the sport because I’ve never heard of Jon Jones. Due to this reason, I’m going to pick the one that I’m much more familiar of (i.e. Stephan Bonnar).
Karo “The Heat” Parisyan vs Dong Hyun Kim
After a devastating lost to Thiago Alves, Parisyan has a lot to carry on his back for this fight. This Saturday, he’ll face the undefeated, up and coming Korean fighter, Dong-Hyun Kim. Many Americans may not be familiar with Kim, but he’d defeated a good number of Japanese fighters in impressive fashion. Of course, none of the fighters that Kim had fought was close to Parisyan’s level. This fight will be a good test for both fighters. My pick is Karo Parisyan by unanimous decision.
Jon Fitch vs Akihiro Gono
Ah! Someone please explain this to me. We have Jon Fitch fighting Akihiro Gono on the preliminary card and may not even be broadcast. Say What? Jon Fitch has only lost to GSP in the UFC is now being disposed as a filler fighter. Akihiro Gono, a long time MMA veteran and a superstar in Pride is also being mistreated over here. I’d much rather want to see this fight than the Parisyan vs. Kim one. Jon Fitch by TKO.