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5 Oz. of Pain on CBS Sports: UFC 94 answers multiple questions

In his latest column for, publisher Sam Caplan writes a followup to several storylines that were highlighted going into this past weekend’s UFC 94 event.

One key question Caplan attempts to answer was whether the night’s main event between UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre vs. UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn lived up to the hype.

“On paper, St. Pierre vs. Penn II is one of the biggest fights in MMA history, but if you were to rank the top 15 UFC bouts from a quality standpoint, it simply wouldn’t rate,” he writes. “St. Pierre was just too dominant and appeared to be a level above Penn. As the fight went on, I kept waiting for Penn to turn the tide and gain some momentum. It never happened. St. Pierre took Penn down at will and had little trouble passing his guard. It was total domination and not the epic war most had anticipated.”

Another topic Caplan addresses is Penn’s future. According to Caplan, a career at welterweight isn’t in the cards for the Hilo, Hawaii native.

“Penn has enough ability to be a good welterweight but he is never going to beat Georges St. Pierre,” Caplan surmises. “And after UFC 94, Penn is just 1-3 as a welterweight [in the UFC], and there are valid questions whether he’d be big enough to beat Thiago Alves or Jon Fitch if he decided to stay at 170.”

Rarely missing an opportunity to tout the quality of unsigned fighters in the Northeast region of the U.S., Caplan points out that two fighters for the region made their presence known at UFC 94.

“Everyone got to see New York native Jones’ brilliant performance against Bonnar,” Caplan begins. “But only the live audience was able to see Jersey-based John Howard pull off an upset against Chris Wilson in his UFC debut that was a part of the non-televised undercard. Only recently has the UFC done a good job of recruiting East Coast talent with Howard, Jones, Jim and Dan Miller, Mike Massenzio and Nick Catone recently added to the roster. But there are still plenty of talented Northeast-based fighters being overlooked, such as Zach Makovsky, Al Iaquinta, Jon Murphy, Ricardo Romero, Charlie Brenneman, Matt Makowski, Greg Soto, LeVon Maynard, Mike Easton, Anthony Morrison, Dwayne Shelton and many others who would be in the UFC or WEC right now if they were fighting out of the Midwest or California.”

Readers can now view the article in its entirety by clicking here.

  • Cathedron says:

    For once, I agree 100% with everything in your article. No, really.

  • Rich B says:

    That was a fine piece, Sam. The only thing I differ with (albeit only slightly) is about Jones. He very well could become the best thing since sliced bread or Kelly Clarkson, but beating an overrated, slow, rusty Stephan Bonnar is a fairly minor accomplishment. Had he not been in the slugfest with Griffin all those years ago, he’d be working elsewhere. I like the guy (Bonnar), but picking him apart isn’t the feat that so many people are claiming it to be.

  • ACK! says:

    Great article. And I agree that Jones has potential for great things, but he looked so sloppy and tired in the last half of the fight that it’s hard to get too excited… I really think that he ready to be finished at any moment. In fact, if Bonnar had been in better shape and able to exploit Jone’s blatant mistakes, I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if he had finished the fight, which Jones certainly wasn’t going to do.

  • GetItOn says:

    A lot of questions will be answered about Bones in his next couple of fights. We’ll just have to see. He looked very good regardless. I’m excited to see him fight again.


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