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UFC 94 Recap: St. Pierre dominates Penn in battle of belt holders

Las Vegas — It was supposed to be an epic clash between reigning champions in two separate weight classes. Instead, the UFC 94 main event between welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and lightweight champion B.J. Penn proved to be a one-sided rout that saw Penn’s corner throw in the towel following the completion of the fourth round.

A capacity crowd inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena saw St. Pierre show no concern for Penn’s renowned guard by taking the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt down almost seemingly at will. While on the ground, St. Pierre used an array of punches, elbows, and even knees to the ribs to demoralize and frustrate Penn.

Penn’s ability to mount offense against St. Pierre was limited to several exchanges in the standup. However, even when the two fighters weren’t on the mat, a case could be made that St. Pierre even got the better of Penn while the two were on their feet.

St. Pierre’s striking was an afterthought in comparison to his ground and pound as it proved the difference Saturday night. Despite not having wrestled in high school or college, St. Pierre’s wrestling display against Penn was nothing short of world class. A versatile fighter who cross trains in boxing, wrestling, and jiu-jitsu, St. Pierre was able to control his counterpart for almost the entire 20 minutes of the fight’s duration.

Penn, considered by most pundits as the number one lightweight in the world and also a top five pound-for-pound ranked fighter, simply lacked the strength and stamina to keep up with the aggressive pace established by St. Pierre midway through the first round.

As the fight wore on, St. Pierre gained more and more momentum with Penn unable to show any threat of turning the tide and mounting a comeback. The lopsided fourth round prompted Penn’s manager and brother, J.D. Penn, a former EliteXC executive, to throw in the towel. Referee Herb Dean acknowledged Penn’s corner by calling a stop to the fight and giving St. Pierre a fourth round TKO victory.

The victory marked the second time in which St. Pierre has recorded a win over Penn. The two previously fought at UFC 58 in March of 2006 with St. Pierre earning a split decision win. Now having improved his overall MMA record to 18-2 and his UFC record to 14-2, he is considered likely to make his next title defense in the coming months against current number one contender Thiago Alves.

The loss for Penn dropped his overall MMA record to 13-5-1 and his career UFC record to 9-4-1. Still recognized as the UFC’s lightweight champion, Penn will likely return to 155 pounds for his next fight and defend his belt against current top contender Kenny Florian.

Stacked with 10 total bouts, UFC 94 also featured a co-main event between unbeaten Brazilians Lyoto Machida and Thiago Silva. Machida improved to 14-0 while Silva fell to 13-1 after Machida recorded a first round TKO.

Machida, trained in the traditional martial art of Karate, has earned a reputation for being an elusive fighter lacking a crowd pleasing style. However, he showed improved aggression during the Silva fight and was able to knock down the American Top Team fighter with inside punches on two separate occasions.

With his record in the UFC now standing at 6-0 with notable wins over Silva, Tito Ortiz, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, and Kazuhiro Nakamura, Machida may have potentially moved into a position for a shot at current light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans.

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson had been expected to challenge for the title first but with Evans unable to commit to fighting in the next several months and the UFC needing a main event for its UFC 96 show in March, he was signed to fight Keith Jardine instead. The UFC could elect to either wait to see if Jackson wins against Jardine and book him to face Evans or Machida could be signed for Evans’ first-ever defense.

In other action, Karo Parisyan made a successful return to the Octagon after having been idle since last April. Facing a game opponent in South Korea’s Dong Hyun Kim, Parisyan recorded a split decision victory that was met with several boos from the crowd after the outcome had been announced.

Rookie Jon Jones improved his overall record to 8-0 by utilizing his dynamic striking ability en route to a unanimous decision victory over season one light heavyweight runner up from The Ultimate Fighter, Stephan Bonnar.

During the show’s televised opener, Clay Guida handed season five TUF lightweight champion Nate Diaz his first-ever UFC loss by grinding out a split decision victory.

In non-televised undercard action, Dan Cramer was successful in his pro debut by recording a split decision victory over Matt Arroyo while Jake O’Brien won his first fight as a light heavyweight with a split decision victory over Christian Wellisch.

UFC newcomer John Howard also showed tremendous poise and strength with a split decision victory over Chris Wilson and lightweight prospect Thiago Tavares snapped a two fight losing streak with a unanimous decision victory over Manny Gamburyan.

The preliminary portion of the card was closed out by former UFC welterweight title challenger Jon Fitch dominating Akihiro Gono during in a unanimous decision victory. The former PRIDE star caused quite a stir by walking to the cage in drag complete with a choreographed dance routine.

39 COMMENTS
  • Brandon says:

    Complete dominance by GSP wow!! Joe Rogan was really really favouring BJ… it was fun listening to him trying to grasp at straws and defending him…

  • king mah mah says:

    I want to see Machida against Rashad. I would love nothing more than to see Rashad get his ass kicked by Lyoto. However, if Rashad can beat Machida then he will finally have my respect.

  • glock says:

    I cannot be happier with the results of tonights fights, although I wanted to see Nate win …. and if he had stuck with staying outside and picking guida apart I think he would have.

    I always knew Penn was a paper tiger talking sh!t against GSP.

    Florian will work him as well.

    He’s the one with the weak psyche that’s why he’s gotta talk s#it.

    go back to Hilo and smoke your pocalolo mang…. And Shut The [email protected]& up 4ever.

  • BigDave says:

    Well, Well, Well What can i say! ive been on here for weeks telling everyone that BJ Penn wasnt deserving enough to carry GSP’s bags and tonight i was proven to be right. Now Penn will go back down to his regular 155 and get smashed by Kenny Florian.

    Machida was domanant in his fight and it wasnt a tko sam it was a KO.

    clay guida looked good in his win over nate diaz.

    Im not sure how karo was given the win in a fight he was losing and only got in one judo throw and looked gassed the rest of the time back on the cage.

    Now im not one to rub it in everyones face but GSP IS THE BEST FIGHTER IN MMA BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS.

  • SB says:

    This fight made me proud of being a GSP fan. Even after BJ’s ridiculous trash talking GSP had the class to console him after the fight and thank him for fighting him. If BJ had won it I highly doubt he would have shown the same respect and humility.

    BTW was BJ crying between round 3 and 4???

  • king mah mah says:

    Lyoto is the best fighter in mma and until he loses you can’t say otherwise. GSP got knocked out by Matt Serra, nuf said!

  • mike wolfe says:

    Imo, the story of the night was Jon Jones. The guy has the same build as Anderson Silva, and he ran a clinic on Bonnar, who’s no slouch. The guy could be a force if he continues to improve and mature.

  • Rich S. says:

    Don’t take anything away from BJ..
    GSP has simply evolved into a monster, after Thiago, no one in the WW division will even be able to give him a run for his money..
    BJ shouldn’t be fighting at WW anyway..
    Now he can return to his realm and be dominant again..

  • mu_shin says:

    Certainly hope real MMA fans will take another look at Lyoto Machida. Been a fan since I first saw him fight, and especially after the Ortiz fight. All the “running” comments and challenges to Machida’s manhood sound pretty empty after such a dramatic knockout stoppage. The goal of a professional fighter is to WIN, and Machida continues to win. Entertainment value is obviously a part of the MMA business, but this guy is a brilliant martial artist and deserves to be recognized as such.

    GSP answered a lot of questions tonight. His psyche is strong, his training and conditioning are otherworldly, and he’s obviously one of the greatest pound for pound athletes to ever compete in this young sport.

    Totally agree with Big Dave on the Parisyan fight, the only disappointing contest on this card. Guida was able to control and manipulate Diaz, and Jones had it all over Stephan Bonnar. Nate will have better days ahead, and Jon Jones has a bright future in this sport, fighting so well at 21 years of age.

    Only time will tell how BJ Penn deals with this disappointment, and whether he will continue to be a dominant champion at 155. The match with Florian will be a first step to answer that conjecture

  • Golion says:

    Man i think kim was robbed Imo. But the over all night was good. I think Bj will rebound against Ken Flo.

  • WarCry says:

    Well, tonight GsP answered part of the question. Who is the best fighter in the world P4P. Before tonight I said Anderson Silva. St. Pierre brutalized Penn tonight. BJ talk all that [email protected] and in the end had to be rescued by his brother from getting killed in that 5th round if he would come out. Alves is dangerous but, GsP is on a mission. Someone keeps bringing up the Serra fight , it turns out that was the best thing to happen to him. He now has a killer instinct that is overwhelming. History only awaits him. The question must be answered.

    Anderson Silva Vs George St. Pierre Must Happen !!!!

  • WarCry says:

    Well, tonight GsP answered part of the question. Who is the best fighter in the world P4P. Before tonight I said Anderson Silva. St. Pierre brutalized Penn tonight. BJ talk all that [email protected] and in the end had to be rescued by his brother from getting killed in that 5th round if he would come out. Alves is dangerous but, GsP is on a mission. Someone keeps bringing up the Serra fight , it turns out that was the best thing to happen to him. He now has a killer instinct that is overwhelming. History only awaits him. The question must be answered.

    Anderson Silva Vs George St. Pierre Must Happen !!!!

  • mike wolfe says:

    Anybody else notice how big Alves looked compared to GSP? He’s a big load for 170. Sooner or later he’ll square off with GSP, and it should be a good fight.

  • king mah mah says:

    gsp is juicing! he’ll get beat or get caught juicing! One or the other, gsp is going down! (i know….flame bait)

  • king mah mah says:

    bring it!

  • Tyler says:

    My god buddy how drunk did you get watching the fights?

  • Lord Faust says:

    “Anybody else notice how big Alves looked compared to GSP? He’s a big load for 170”

    Alves cuts A LOT of weight to make 170, and the bout hasn’t been officially signed, so I am sure he was closer to 190 there. And yeah, he’s a beast.

  • TS says:

    Im gonna touch on all the comments here. Machida, who cares. So he beat undefeated Thiago. Who cares Thiago hasnt beat anybody legit. As far as Im concerned. neither has Machida. Together they have beaten a bunch of no names. Now as far as Ken Flo dominating Penn, lets get real. KenFlo was bloodied up and beat down from Sherk and he couldnt even finish Huerta, Nuff said, Penn will destroy Florian. There is nobody and I mean nobody at 155 that can handle Penn. Sherk reigned over 155 and Penn took care of him , no problem. As for u, king mah mah, how could Evans not have ur respect after he just dominted and TKOd Forrest Griffin. Be real. Jones won convincingly but Bonnar sux, who cares. Now I wanna see GSP run through Alves then, dare I say: Silva vs. GSP for the middleweight title.
    OUT!!

  • king mah mah says:

    Forrest Griffin? ha! Rashad is so cocky I would assume he could beat anybody. Lets see if he can beat Rampage or Machida. I doubt it. I bet even Jardine would beat Rashad.

  • themindone says:

    Machida has to get a title shot and some respect.

  • htown-chris says:

    apperarantly whoever freddie roach backs as mma’s best boxers are instantly jinxed. he said arlovski was a good boxer amd we see wt happened to him, he abandoned his boxing via flying knee and tonight penn totaly abandoned his boxing altogether. he barely threw his jab at all. gsp landed mor jabs than he did. i wont say im surprised gsp won but mor how he won. maybe by decision but never forfeit. i always thougt bj woud fight to the death. but once again his conditioning came into question. maybe 170 is jst too much for him to carry around in the cage.

  • K.C. says:

    UFC 94 was a joke I want my money back. If GSP is so good let him move up and fight Silvia

  • Rich S. says:

    TS – “Thiago hasnt beat anybody legit. As far as Im concerned. neither has Machida”

    Well that just shows your idiocy.

    I assume you feel that none of these fighters are “legit”:

    -Rich Franklin
    -Sokoudjou
    -Bj Penn
    -Stephan Bonnar
    -Tito Ortiz
    -“Tiger” White
    -Nakamura

    Those are some of the guys on Machida’s record… to say he has fought no-names is downright dumb..

    3 of those guys are already legends in the sport..

    I can agree with you on Thiago, he hasn’t really had any crazy competition, but Machida has faced the best in the world.

  • nuckster says:

    Hey BJ… Who’s the lil biaotch now? GSP kickd it the way the best pound 4 pound fighter in the world should!

  • Voridor says:

    pocalolo mang? What is this? You smoke this stuff or what?

  • king mah mah says:

    Rashad here comes Machida!

  • tylerdante69 says:

    How come Evans is unable to commit to fighting in the next several months??

    Injury?

    movie deals??

    champion’s benefit??

  • BigDave says:

    This i a somberday in the world with the death of BJ Pe……Wait……..He didnt fight to the death?…But…..He said he…whatever.

    Know ive seen Domanence before but GSP was not only domanant he beat Penn to the point of Embaresment . BJ Penn looked like he was crying for his blankey between rounds 3-4. This was possably the greatest beating i have ever seen as for pound 4 pound best, there is absolutely no contest here anymore GSP just destroyed a CURRENT CHAMPION while silva is set to fight another guy that isnt in the top 10.

    Im not sure why evans is unable to fight but after what Machida did last night I dont think Rashad will be the champ for much longer. Dont get me wrong im not saying Machida will ko Rashad but i dont think rashad will be able to hit lyoto.

    Oh and now BJ is whining because GSP had vaseline on his back? I’m not 100% percent sure but did Penn even touch GSP back in the fight? All i saw was Penn in the fetal position getting pummeled. Go to hell Penn and take you butt brother Dana white with you.

  • Dr.Stoppage says:

    Part of the fun of this fight was the three plus weeks of hype provided by the UFC.
    Although I was hoping for GSP to win,I couldn’t sleep last night and had a tough time today just leading up to the fight.
    Now I guess I gotta follow thru on all those things I promised God if he’d allow GSP to win.
    Anyone need their snow shovelled?

    I like how GSP has now explained to everyone the strategy he used to beat Penn.
    You know,wear out BJ’s small shoulders to eliminate his boxing skills.
    Now we all know.
    Listen up Kenflo.

  • glock says:

    Voridor

    Uhh, it was late, and I was writing from margaritaville… It should have read,

    “go back to Hilo and smoke joor pocalolo (comma) mang…. joo piece a chit”…..

    “mang” being the Cuban-American noun for the english word “man”….

    As for “Death Match 2009”, like Arlovsky, someone should put BJ on suicide watch after being beaten by a bitch…… at least he was man enough not to “tap from strikes” ………he had his bra be the bitch instead…..

    His bra shoulda put some vaseline on BJ’s back to help slide him onto the stretcher a little easier, no wait, actually, to help slide him back into the trashcan where he belongs, for the trip home.

    Also I’m happy that miraculously, everyone got out of the arena safely after the rapid deflation of BJ’s head in such a small crowded space.

    I can’t wait to see the cheering crowds at Hilo aiport….

  • Jeff L says:

    GSP is 12 and 2 in the UFC by the way, not 14-2.

  • neijia says:

    This fight was a little disappointing in that 1) it was boring and 2) BJ did not show us any good boxing or bjj. I don’t draw any conclusions about how “great” GSP or BJ is, now. They are both dominant in their proper weight classes.

    I agree with king mah mah, though. The real fight of the night was Machida – Silva. Machida – Evans would be great to watch. Close second best bout was Bonnar – Jones. Jones looks like an upcoming star! Only 22 years old with a bright future at light heavy. Every other televised match was a bit boring, unfortunately. Good chatting with some of you on the live chat last night.

  • perfecto says:

    HA HAA! Who is the real quiter now Penn. All that BS about fighting to the death and how you’re going to kill GSP and you threw in the towel.

    Penn had no answer to GSPs strikes. GSP was double jabbing Penn, body face body face and still nothing it was great. GSP had no problem taking Penn down and passing his guard. As for the vaseline read my comment on the other board under BJs camp files complaint.

    And the whole argument about BJ had moved up in weight, Its crap. Its not his first time fighting at 170 shit he had the belt in that weight class at one time. Bottom line the guy just isnt as good as GSP. And him and Florian will be a great match maybe even an upset for the Penn fans.

    Penn talked so much crap on Primetime. Whats that crap he said about slapping Dana for checking up on him and his training. Someone needed to check up on him even more than they did. His dumb ass trains like shit. The show showed him jogging so slow that he could have walked faster.

    I dont know why Penn even got a title shot at 170. The last man in common that him and GSP fought was Hughes and he killed Penn and then GSP killed Hughes. Makes no sense to me.

    GSP is the man and he might fight Silva and probably win (he is more well rounded) but first he has to think about that animal Alves.

  • Grappo says:

    Perfecto – you really get sucked up in the hype machine. Trash talking is Penn’s way of hyping up a fight. I always thought it was kinda stupid, but I guess it really works. On some people.

  • perfecto says:

    I just think unless you can back it up dont say shit!

  • Orecets says:

    Went pretty much as I expected, including Clay being his typical ineffective decision loving self.

    That fight was such BS.

  • themindone says:

    .. it was obvious BJ had no chance.. what was he going to do? gsp improved more in the 3 yrs and was a better fighter in their first match also.. the ufc builds up the hype to the point of annoyance.. the most anticpated fight in ufc history? I suppose until ufc 95 right? mike goldberg is the most annoying anouncer on television.. I wish he would shut up, I hate his promos, his iq must be below 25 .. why the ufc doens’t replace him is beyond me.. he should be doing high school football or the wcw, not the ufc.

    machida v evans is going to rock.. both legit in their prime beasts… machida has fought some of the best in the world and doesn’t even get him, I think evens will test him, it will be interesting to see if rashad’s speed and explosiveness will be enough to break the distance and put some punishment on machida.. though I expect machida to be champion soon enough

    likewise, gsp v alves is going to be a hell of a fight.. unlike v. baby quit penn ..
    we will see how good gsp really is.. alves is a monster , he is the future at middleweight , but gsp is a true champ; it should be a fight

    overall though 94 was a huge letdown.. the most exiting fight was machida kicking that ego maniac gansta wannabe tiago silva ass with skill and honor …
    the rest of the card was boring with the exception of jon jones maybe.
    affliction last week was way more exciting.. Fedor v Arlovski has real drama, Fedor is history, undefeated and Arlovski was his biggest test , in a long time, great ending on that fight and the rest of the card also had exciting fights and great finishes..no decisions.. compared to this ufc that was full of them and split
    decisions at that.. hopefully the ufc will step it’s game up now that they have some competition.. paying $50 every two weeks in this economy I want some matchup that have a chance of either guy winning.. I’m sick of lesnar v couture, mark f-ing coleman v anyone, gsp v uriah faber etc… dana white and the ufc’s pr , marketing build these fights up as even but often one guy is expected to win by management.. they’d make money no matter what I wish they just tried to make more competitive fights and each show a blowout packed card instead of their current methodology of constantly building towards other cards, building up fighters with matched they are not in any real danger of losing.. what made fedor v arlovski so great was fedor could have lost, and was on points.. machida silva had an element of danger but the rest of the card was lame and not worth the money.. you better do better next time ufc

  • Samuel Bruce says:

    Who would have guessed the only stoppages would come in the main events?

    The first two televised bouts were close, could have gone either way. I was pulling for Nate Diaz. Jon Jones is a beast! Needs to work on his cardio, but he is young. He whooped Bonnar’s a$$.

    I do not think Lyoto Machida can be beat: that is, there is no one who would even win 4 times against him if they fought 10 times… Hurts me to say that because I am a big Rashad Evans fan, but he would be hard pressed to come up with a game plan for that guy.

    I consider myself a GSP & a BJ fan, it hurts to watch BJ take that beating.

  • ATT says:

    GSP is clearly the best WW in MMA today as proved on Saturday night. However, if we learned nothing else, it’s that with all else equal, size really does matter. All this talk about him moving up to MW to challenge Anderson Silva is silly. Learn a lesson from BJ’s mistake. Concentrate on your given weight class and dominate. If he moves up to MW to fight Silva, it’ll make BJ’s results from jumping up a weight class look like a Swedish massage.

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