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Five Ounces of Pain on CBS Sports: Top UFC 94 storylines to watch

My latest submission to is now available by clicking here.

It’s such an interesting time for MMA because so many things are happening behind the scenes and a lot of changes will soon be unfolding. One of those major changes could be set in motion after tonight, as UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn will find himself at a crossroads should he win the UFC welterweight champion from Georges St. Pierre.

The repercussions of a win by Penn is explored in the article, as it will be interesting to see what his next move might be. Will he get on the mic with Joe Rogan after the fight and tell us all that he intends to defend both belts? Will he renounce the lightweight title and take on Thiago Alves? Or, will he defy Dana White’s wishes of not moving past 170 pounds by calling out current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva?

A win by St. Pierre will bring a little more stability to the UFC. A second career victory over Penn makes it likely that he will return in the late-spring or early-summer and defend his belt vs. Alves. The win would also help cement his legacy as not only one of the sport’s current best, but one of MMA’s all-time greatest fighters. I also believe that a win tonight would completely cleanse St. Pierre of his UFC 69 loss to Matt Serra. Sure, most of us have already forgotten the defeat but if he can put Penn away, it will be almost as if UFC 69 never even happened.

But tonight isn’t all about Penn vs. St. Pierre, as the UFC didn’t decide to give us a fight card built around one fight. I think Lyoto Machida vs. Thiago Silva is a very intriguing matchup with a lot at stake. It was also interesting because both received very strong reactions during yesterday’s weigh-in. I now believe that Machida may have some marketing potential just yet. No, he’ll never be Chuck Liddell, but his star could one day rival that of Anderson Silva.

A win tonight by Machida almost forces the UFC to give him a title shot. His style is not crowd pleasing and even apparently prompted Frank Mir to say during yesterday’s MMA Live weigh-in special that he’ll never get a title shot because he lacks marketability. We shall see. Personally, I think Machida wins, gets his title shot, and believe it or not, takes the title.

Those are just a few examples of some of the plotlines for tonight that I explored and in order to read the article in its entirety, just click here.

  • Guy Gaduois says:

    BJ Penn disregard Dana White? It could never, ever happen. Why, BJ is the most respectful guy on the planet. He’s a gentleman, scholar and philosopher. Just ask him. (“Oh look – it’s Dana calling . . . should I take it? I’m not going to take it” titter titter, giggle sniffle, hee hee . . . prances off)
    I truly hope it does not come to an after victory interview declaration for BJ Penn. He should dominate all he wants at lightweight and after he cleans out, then have at another weight class, like Anderson Silva has done.

    It’s funny how every great fighter is allowed a “he got caught” moment (some get several) yet there’s a reticence to allow for a fluke with GSP. Even Anderson Silva lost by submission. That’s kind of the ultimate fluke of all time, but nonetheless, I don’t know why GSP hasn’t already been cleansed of his loss to Serra after the pummeling Serra received from Georges. That was a brutal finish and it was very efficient tactically.

  • revjames says:

    Serra was coming off a career threatening back injury and hadn’t fought in a year when he faced GSP the second time. Clearly he was not coming into that in prime condition. After that GSP handled an over-the-top Matt Hughes and an out-of-his-league Jon Fitch.

    The BJ fight will answer everything in terms of how dominant GSP is. Or how dominant BJ is.

    I’ve got BJ finishing GSP.

  • revjames says:

    My bad, the third Hughes fight was before Serra.

  • BigDave says:

    Did i mention that GSP is gonna put BJ Penn into retirement yet? If not then i just did.

    GSP is in every single way better then Penn. Better standup, better wrestling, jits is something bj is supposed to be better at but hasnt even tryed to use in the past few years. GSP is bigger, stronger, and faster then Penn. Also Georges also a much more respecful and genuine person. Whereas I dont see how Penn doesnt get punched in the mouth everytime he speaks.

    So in conclusion i an renaming this event tonight, UFC 94 The BJ Penn Retirement Party. So long penn dont let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

  • neijia says:

    GSP is bigger, stronger, faster, but I’m not sure about better standup. Freddie Roach say BJ Penn has the best striking of any mma fighter … by far. BJ Penn won a bjj world championship at the black belt level after only 3 years of training. So, I’d say he has better standup and better jiu-jitsu. GSP has better wrestling, and is bigger, faster, and stronger. So hard to call, I’d have to give it to whomever is better mentally. That seems to favor Penn.


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