Is the Georges St. Pierre and B.J. Penn saga destined to become a trilogy? If recent comments by both fighters are taken seriously, a third match between the two fighters could take place as soon as this summer.
While a recent guest on Sherdog’s “Beatdown” radio show, St. Pierre responded to reports that Penn’s attorney had submitted a letter to the Nevada State Athletic Commission requesting an investigation as to whether St. Pierre’s corner improperly lubricated his body between rounds during their UFC 94 main event matchup this past weekend.
“It’s disrespectful, but B.J. is a winner,” St. Pierre told Beatdown’s hosts. “I understand a winner’s mentality. A winner’s mentality always tries to understand the reason why he lost. In B.J.’s case, he doesn’t do it in a good way. I understand that he tries to understand why he lost, but what he should’ve done instead of looking at things he doesn’t control he should’ve looked at himself in the mirror and asked himself what he should’ve done better to be more well-prepared for that fight to be able to beat Georges St. Pierre instead of looking at me and try to find excuses… B.J. right now is doing it all wrong and he’s not going to become a better fighter if he keeps acting like this.”
Later St. Pierre was asked as to whether he’d be open to another rematch with Penn. The current UFC welterweight champion refused to back down from a potential challenge.
“Lets go do a rematch with B.J. Penn,” he responded. “We’re going to do it this summer. St. Pierre-Penn III — and this time we’ll wear a rash guard. I guarantee you the result will be the same or even worse for him.”
Penn has responded to St. Pierre’s comments courtesy of his blog on BJPenn.com. And to no one’s surprise, he’s ready for a third go around with St. Pierre.
“For the past several days I have been reading statements made by St. Pierre and Greg Jackson about our fight on January 31,” Penn writes. “St. Pierre claims that he is ‘not a cheater’ and that he and Greg Jackson will have ‘no problem with a rematch in the summer of 2009.’ To the untrained eye the grease might not look like much, but every grappler knows the effect that it has. Being able to apply your submissions and sweeps or just being able to hold on to your opponent to defend yourself from being hit is absolutely critical!
“There is a reason why you are not allowed to put grease anywhere on your body except for the area around your eyes. Because of the grease applied to St.Pierre’s Body the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s executive director, Keith Kizer has stated that the Penn-St. Pierre fight ‘definitely wasn’t fair.’ I hereby accept George St. Pierre and Greg Jackson’s challenge for a fight in the summer 2009. Let’s call Dana now and set it up.”
With St. Pierre having won bouts vs. Penn there might not seem to be an obvious need for a third fight. However, the controversy coming out of their second fight has received a great deal of press, which could present a scenario in which the third fight is bigger than their second. Furthermore, one could make the case that there was little need to promote second and third fights between Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock but because of the public interest surrounding the feud between the two, the box office potential was too much to ignore.
With Dana White having been quoted as saying the company expects St. Pierre vs. Penn II to generate over 1.3 million buys on PPV, the UFC could have a strong interest in promoting another fight between the two. As of now, St. Pierre is considered likely to defend his title next vs. Thiago Alves with Kenny Florian next in line for a shot at Penn’s lightweight title. A strong case could be made that St. Pierre vs. Penn III could outdraw separate PPVs headlined by St. Pierre vs. Alves and Penn vs. Florian combined.