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BJ Penn-Georges St. Pierre Up Next, UFC Lightweight Division Officially in Limbo

(‘I don’t want to sound like a jerk, but one of us needs to lay off the tanning salon.’)

We all suspected it, but now it’s real. Dana White said he will give B.J. Penn the fight he wants against Georges St. Pierre some time in the coming months, although where it will go down is another question. When asked if the superfight would take place in Montreal, White answered “probably not”. He also said Penn wouldn’t vacate the lightweight title to fight St. Pierre.

So what does that mean for company man Kenny Florian, who was hoping for a once-promised shot at that title after his victory over Roger Huerta? Looks like he might have some vacation time coming, because St. Pierre and Penn get their wishes granted first. From MMA Weekly:

“They both really want that fight, they both want to fight each other,” said White. “I’m going to let that fight happen and then I’ll figure out what we’re going to do at 155.”

The Penn-St. Pierre rematch will most likely happen on December 27, or at least that’s the most prevalent rumor. That means Florian’s reward for toppling troublemaker Roger Huerta is that he maybe gets a shot at the lightweight strap six months from now. Maybe. Of course, odds are that if Penn beats GSP he’ll never darken the 155-pound doorway again, so we may be looking at a vacant title situation or, worse, another interim title while White waits for Penn to come to his senses and return to the weight class that loves him far more than he loves it.

So is this title freeze a screw job for every 155-pounder in the UFC whose name doesn’t rhyme with T.A. Kenn? Probably. But as long as it means we get to see Penn-St. Pierre II, nobody else seems to mind. Including GSP:

“I want to be a real champion, I want to be the best in the world,” St. Pierre stated. “And to be the best in the world you need to fight the best in the world and I want to give a shot to everybody that deserves it. B.J. Penn deserves it, he’s an incredible fighter.”

Translation: Game on, suckers.

Cagepotato Comments

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Anonymous- January 24, 2009 at 11:43 pm
lol he did lose 1 to GSP by decision but he never lost to hughes, are you kidding me? he choked hughes out in the first round. i dont think 170 is BJ's best weight but we'll see what happens. GSP's got the ground and pound, BJ's got the striking and grappling. it's definitely going to be a fight to watch.
cra-z-eyz killa- January 2, 2009 at 9:47 pm
The idea of having p4p belt open to all weight classes is ridiculous. brock lesnar vs bj penn, are you kidding? penn's bones are too small to take hits from someone that size. i wont bother listing other examples because its just stupid. But GSP should own penn in their next fight. he was slightly better before and is way better now. he's made alot more progress than penn since their last fight skillwise. penn just got in shape.
JonJon from Cali- October 24, 2008 at 7:16 pm
F%ck all the haters that gave their comment. I'm not a trained MMA fighter but I fight when need be. I want to see this fight and I'll pay $100 for PPV to see this thing happen. All you who hating sucks and your just jealous cause BJ and GSP get to bang good looking babes. Like me.
chuck white- September 29, 2008 at 2:46 am
People fight by pound for a reason. And each champion should have to prove he is the best at that weight. A pay per view with gsp vs alves and penn vs kenny would make a much better one then gsp vs penn. Expecially if alves beats sanchez in there upcoming fight. But if both champions defend there belt well then a agreement to fight each other at 170 would make it it that much bigger.
hayn guy- September 20, 2008 at 1:35 pm
i think BJ is way 2 good for everybody in the 155lb div. Florian isnt even close! So why not let BJ and GSP fight. It'll be a good fight as long as GSP doesnt lay on BJ the whole fight! But im pretty sure he aint gonna take BJ down that easy. BTW BJ is way above GSP in pure Talent and skill at this point and his blood-licking is just a reward for bitching his opponents.
nicktreb- August 30, 2008 at 9:46 am
GSP will own Penn. Yes penn has grown alot since last time they fought but so has St. Pierre.
seth- August 11, 2008 at 7:28 am
(’I don’t want to sound like a jerk, but one of us needs to lay off the tanning salon.’)
I know shes hot, but you'll never get her.
ADW- August 11, 2008 at 5:33 am
Why do people keep saying that weight is such a huge factor in a fight? Martial Arts is about combat and proving who the better man is. Just because a guy is bigger does not mean that he will automatically dominate the other person. Fighters like GSP and BJ Penn are just to skilled to get dominated by anybody just because they are bigger. Fighting larger people requires different strategy, definately not the strategy that Heath Herring tried to use on Brock Lesnar, I believe that GSP or Bj penn in the ring with Anderson Silva would be a great fight. I wish people would not act like weight classes are protecting the little guys from the big guys.

Silva would probably win..but both BJ and GSP would at least make it into the third round.
jbg- August 11, 2008 at 12:40 am
Does nobody remember gsp vs. penn I ? Damn, I was pissed when I heard that GSP won on decision. GSP's face was battered and Penn looked like he got off a treadmill. Think it came down to 2 takedowns which seeing how Penn is comfortable on his back didn't see it as a bad thing.

FWIW - I think the blood licking and GSP's nipple pinching are both queer.
Rob from inside Tito Ortiz's Massive Noggin- August 11, 2008 at 12:27 am
@ Marcel

Honestly, I don't have any problem with what GSP does, but, he just rubs me the wrong way. He comes off as a prick, no matter what he says or does. Something about his very nature that turns me off. It has no impact on how awesome of a fighter he is and how he starched the #2 welterweight in the UFC on Saturday.

Superfights are nice, but, really, you don't win fights on potential and skill level. There is a reason we actually have fights. Who thought that GSP would get KTFO by Matt Serra? Nobody. Things happen in fights that you can't always predict. KenFlo might take Penn's back and rear naked choke him. Maybe not. Thiago Alves might knock GSP's head off with a flying knee. Maybe not. You don't know unless you have the actual fights!
alves vs rumble- August 10, 2008 at 11:00 pm
This fight should happen....rumble vs pitbull...Then the winner should fight GSP. Save the superfight
Geriatric Peon- August 10, 2008 at 7:42 pm
Alves should be the next to fight GSP. He has evolved a long way since loosing to fitch and should probably get the next shot. Penn is good but there is a reason it is called pound for pound. He doesn't have the natural bulk to handle someone of GSP's strength now that he has reached a point where he is skillful enough to handle Penn. I will watch the fight but there is no way that Penn is going to go in there and just dominate him.

Not a GSP fan just realistic about the reasons for weight classes.
BIG CHRIS- August 10, 2008 at 7:26 pm
I pick BJ Penn in this one....I respect GSP and everything but IMO BJ is on another level completly from everyone in the UFC besides The Spider...BJ was always the guy that was thought to be the best fighter in the world that couldn't quite pull it together enough to be the best fighter, but I feel he has done what he needs to do to legitimize himself as the best. He has changed his training disciplines, his eating habits, he has his mind focused, we are seeing a more dangerous BJ Penn then ever before. GSP is a great fighter, but BJ is going choke him out.....and another thing, BJ would have finished Jon Fitch, that's a gaurantee.
sol- August 10, 2008 at 7:18 pm
@hooligun: - When did BJ Penn go 5 rounds? The first time he fought Jens Pulver yeah.

Styles make fights blah blah blah. Whether people like him or not, Sherk is no.2 at 155 and he got obliterated. Fitch is easily no.2 at 170 and he got dominated bell to bell.

I dont see how a superfight doesn't make sense to people. Honestly now, who else is there as a real challenge at either of the respective champs weight classes? Don't give me any of that fanboy bs either, real challenges for the champs.

I like KenFlo as much as the next guy but he doesn't stand a chance. Neither does anybody at 170, Fitch and Koscheck got dominated by GSP.
Marcel- August 10, 2008 at 6:42 pm
@ Rob inside Tito's Nutsack,

Dude, why do you hate GSP and call him a French Canadian ferry? Ask any REAL fighter, not just a behind the computer tough guy like yourself, and they will tell you that GSP is a super humble, really genuine nice guy. He does a shitload of selfless charity work up for us "French Canadian ferries". You are a dick, sir.
hooligun- August 10, 2008 at 6:32 pm
First off, I really rate BJ, GSP and Silva but its a bit soon to be talking about holding multiple titles for any of them. Silva is the most dominant of his division and he only popped into 205 for the sake of novelty and cos Dana asked him to. I doubt he would have done it to fight one of the top 3. BJ was taken 5 rounds as was GSP so good as they are they need to beat a few more challengers before they let Danas ego push em into so called SuperFights. Let's keep it real.
mayhem420- August 10, 2008 at 5:45 pm
I dont like the idea of "open weight" fights....
They did it in Japan cause thats what people wanted to see.... big guys beating up smaller guys.... I mean Pride was all about that. How many mismatched fights did we see over there? Anyone other than GSP or Anderson or Penn I would have a problem with the UFC doing this. However since these guys are so in controll of those weight classes this is the only way to give truely competative fights.
Name one guy in the 155 class that could take BJ 5 rounds? I cant think of 1 in the UFC. Same for Anderson Sylvia. GSP has maybe 1 or 2 guys that could give a good fight but those wont make the $$$ that Penn vs GSP would. Keep in mind that in the end its all about the $$$$.....
Plain old Kevin- August 10, 2008 at 5:38 pm
I was thinking about the P4P title idea, but adding Silva into the mix is just not fair. That would be like having Vera go back up to HW and fight Lesnar. Silva is 6'3 and walks around at 220ish. GSP prob gets up to about 190, but I would bet no more. He is also about 4 or 5 inches smaller. GSP and Penn could fight for a 170 P4P title and that would make me happier than the WW strap being up for grabs.
Anonymous- August 10, 2008 at 5:19 pm
Silva would slaughter Penn. The guy is a knock out artist at 205 and you want him to fight a guy with the natural build for 155?

I get the point of an open weight class but it really wouldn't provide that great of fights. Henderson could put the weight on to fight Minotauro cause they are close enough. Can you see Nogueira fighting Penn? If you can't make the other's weight class you shouldn't fight each other. If the two can make it to the same weight class, go for it.
ADW- August 10, 2008 at 5:12 pm
That is why there should be an "open-weight" title in the UFC screw the rules, there is a good reason for it, to see who the best of the best is. If look at the old pride days you had Wanderlei knocking out Fujita and taking it to Mark Hunt and Dan Henderson fighting guys like Minatauro. Those where all great fights. Real fighters take fights regardless of the size and strength of there opponents. Can you imagine a GSP and Chuck Liddel fight? How about BJ Penn and Anderson Silva. Those would be awesome fights and you can't say that anybody would slaughter anybody in those fights because all of those guys are so damned good.

I want to see GSP and BJ Penn fight because BJ was out of shape and he was still owning GSP. Now that he is in shape GSP is going to be in ALOT of trouble. There last fight was so close. This one isn't going to go to decision.
Kevin Marshall- August 10, 2008 at 4:48 pm
1. Forget that comment about being wise in the first post, since I apparently spelled my own goddamn name wrong.

2. A P4P title doesn't make much sense. If BJ Penn is the P4P title holder, then what, he puts on more weight to fight Silva at 185? Remember, you can't have open weight fights in North America. The SACs would have none of it, and for good reason.
Kevin Masrhall- August 10, 2008 at 4:42 pm
I second the sentiments of Plain Old Kevin, and not because we share the same given name. (FACT: Men named "Kevin" are all very manly and wise)

I'm sorry, but I don't buy BJ Penn as wholly unstoppable like so many people seem to think he is, and his fights against Hughes and St. Pierre both showed that. He has plenty of contenders at 155 that can make him money, and St. Pierre's not going anywhere. Can we at least get another title defense or two before running to that money match? Is there no other fight that could draw for them in December?

I just don't see the urgency in making this fight happen so soon, unless Penn has made it clear that he's not going to stick around for much longer or he'll only fight name opponents in other weight classes ("superfights"). In which case, why keep the title on him?

And I really don't think him losing a title fight at 155 would diminish the drawing power of a fight with GSP. A name's a name to the mainstream.
Old, Bald and Irish- August 10, 2008 at 4:36 pm
@ C-Bus Allstar

I'm with ya 100% on the P4P belt. they really should make this happen. Everyone wants to see the "Superfights". MAKE IT HAPPEN, DANA!

From the link in the article:

As for Penn's future at 155, Penn himself has stated that he plans to defend his lightweight title while moving back and forth between light and welterweight taking on all comers in both weight class.

"I'd like to fight welterweight and lightweight at the same time if I could," said Penn. "I'm moving up to the welterweight division and moving down to defend the lightweight title."

Yeah...good luck with that Penn.

Look, if Penn can defend two titles; more power to him. But this is a big finger-in-the-eye for KenFlo. So now are all of the next UFC matches and belt fights contingent on Penn's schedule? What if, God forbid, Penn gets hurt in the next few months. Then does everyone sit around and wait 'till he gets better.

So in this "Superfight", will Penn be fighting for GSP's belt, or is this just a one-off? Because if Penn is walking in the door and getting a shot at GSP's belt, that is completely unfair to everyone in the welterweight division.
mike e- August 10, 2008 at 4:35 pm
Ken Flo can wait as long as needs to. Lets face it, a fight between BJ and any other 155'er is not very marketable. Especially after BJ destroyed Joe Daddy and Sherk. Kenny is not any more of a threat than these guys.

Same goes for St. Pierre and Spider in their division. Give BJ his fight with St. Pierre before he loses his focus and starts piggin out again.
CJ- August 10, 2008 at 4:27 pm
This fight will be a great one but I don't understand why BJ thinks it makes sense for him to move up in weight when he's only defended his belt one time. I guess we can all sit back and say everyone else in the division isn't worthy but I'd like to see him kick a few lightweight asses before fucking around at 170.