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The Penn/St. Pierre Hype Wave Begins

(Click the image for the press conference video. Image courtesy of MMA Mania.)

In advance of a pair of publicity appearances in Toronto (today at the Scotiabank Theatre) and Honolulu (Friday at the Waikiki Shell), Dana White, BJ Penn, and Georges St. Pierre held a press conference in Las Vegas to begin spreading the word about the Penn/St. Pierre superfight at UFC 94 (January 31st, Las Vegas). MMA Weekly has footage of the press conference here.

As you’ll see, the vibe between the fighters is very respectful, with neither man harping on the result of their first meeting in 2006, where St. Pierre got his hand raised in a split decision but was clearly worse for the wear. For both Penn and St. Pierre, this fight is strictly about cementing a legacy, and determining who is really the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. (I guess Anderson Silva is chopped liver?)

Penn still plans on defending both belts if he takes the welterweight strap from GSP, but he has no idea how often he would defend each title. He also credits the small-man-beats-big-man theory of Brazilian jiu-jitsu for his desire to challenge larger opponents, though Dana White puts his foot down at the idea of a Penn/Anderson Silva superfight. Anyway, the opening remarks are in the can — expect more heated debate in the future.

Cagepotato Comments

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Shawn- January 8, 2009 at 9:02 pm
Have any of you comment people even trained in mma fighting?? I am Canadian and a gsp fan...having said that BJ Penn is going to win this fight...he won't dominate (neither fighter will) but he will win. BJ's flexability and boxing skills will overcome GSP'S mental insecurities...conditioning will not be an issue this time with BJ, and as good as GSP is, he is going to lose a very close match (by submission I predict). I realize a lot of things can happen...I have trained and competed in MMA for 10 years.. but BJ is just too good and focused this time
Jay Smith- November 17, 2008 at 5:17 pm
I don't know how the P.S. comment got posted before the other one. I typed the other one first.
Jay Smith- November 17, 2008 at 5:15 pm
Mayhem420 & Jugger both got it right. I'm a Ken Flo fan, but I'd much rather see BJ & GSP. This is also the fight that will make the UFC the most money. This is one of the things I like about MMA (the UFC really) moreso than boxing, there is no "contender" or "rankings". They put together the fights that the fans want to see, and whudyaknow.........those just happen to make them the most money.
Jay Smith- November 17, 2008 at 5:10 pm
P.s. I like both fighters, but I think GSP will take it.
Matt Hughs came for the free T-Shirt- November 17, 2008 at 5:02 pm
Blog for 11/21/08: This press conference was extremely boring so I took my free t-shirt and left at around the the 7 minute mark.
Jugger- November 17, 2008 at 3:10 pm
This fight is about legacy. Not belts. Their taking this fight because people want to see these two get this settled. In their first fight George was a metal case and BJ wasn't taking the fight game seriously... and their fight went to a split decision with BJ cutting GSP all up in the first round, and GSP grinding out points for the next two rounds.

Screw the LW and WW divisions (which are both stacked, BTW) and the belts. I just want to see who is the better fighter.

I thought it was funny to see GSP and BJ calmly chatting about the weather in Waikiki in Dana's last video blog. These two talk the talk, but they respect each other.
mayhem420- November 17, 2008 at 3:00 pm
Anyone who thinks either guy is going to dominate the other is full of it.
The first fight went to a SD. GSP was not the fighter that he is now and Penn gassed BAD during the 2nd round.
This is going to be a tuff fight for both guys and should be one for the ages.
I have been waiting for this rematch since the first fight and cant wait for it!
It will not be an easy fight for either guy. I could see this going to the judges again.

Agreed though that it sucks for Kenflo having to wait for another 6 to 7 months after this fight is over before he gets his shot at the LW title. However he will need all that time to work on his game cause he is going to need all of it to get ready to fight BJ.
Geriatric Peon- November 17, 2008 at 2:46 pm
Odds on the Press Conference:
-1100 Dana White says fuck at some point

+1400 Dana announces that he and Trump have bonded over their love of abusing employees (and Dana's love/raging envy of Trump's hair) and he will accept Affliction back into the UFC sponsorship fold.
manutdfan- November 17, 2008 at 2:46 pm
Anonymous Says:

November 18th, 2008 at 9:20 am
like how dana gives himself equal billing w/ the fighters making gsps pic smaller than penns. now that bjs taking this shit serious and actually coming in inshape he’ll win.

this is the Hawaii press conference poster, mind you. That is why BJ has top billing.
ADW- November 17, 2008 at 2:46 pm
You guys are delusional. GSP is in a world of shit. BJ is going to win. It is going to be a war, GSP will put up a fight.. but BJ by RNC in the 3rd. It's done. Everybody should really watch their first fight again. GSP was getting his ass kicked and even in the 2nd and 3rd BJ was tired and it was all BJ, who would steam roll Kenny Florian. Florian is a less skilled and athletic version of BJ Penn. That will be his downfall. He is going to try to stand with BJ and then take him to the ground, not the best strategy against BJ Penn.

If you think that the LW division is bad the MW division is even worse. It is pretty sad that GSPvAnderson Silva is the only Silva fight that I can get pumped about. They are talking about a Liddellv Anderson fight, but who the hell cares. GSP is the ONLY opponent that can give Anderson a run in the near future.
Farthammer- November 17, 2008 at 2:31 pm
I for one cannot wait until the Press Conference. DANA WHITE WILL BE THERE!!1!1 I bet he says awesome stuff! Screw the fighters; this is Dana-time, people.
Terrakilla- November 17, 2008 at 2:30 pm
I hope Penn has a taste for his own blood after this match.
Poopiestick- November 17, 2008 at 2:29 pm
Well, it will be a great fight either way. But why is Dana White's photo on the fight promo? Will he be providing entertainment, or does he simply enjoy his picture on things?
Kevbo- November 17, 2008 at 2:22 pm
Looking past GSP and even mentioning Silva is a sin. GSP will dominate Penn and would put up a better fight against Silva (even though he would probably lose). Some people have the blinders on and ignore the fact that Penn ran to 155 and has cardio at a lighter weight. Cardio or not.. GSP is on another level and Penn is not. GSP has wrestling and now BJJ!!... this is going to be fun to watch. Until then the picture of Hughes smashing BJs face is priceless.
Anonymous- November 17, 2008 at 2:20 pm
like how dana gives himself equal billing w/ the fighters making gsps pic smaller than penns. now that bjs taking this shit serious and actually coming in inshape he'll win.
Anonymous- November 17, 2008 at 2:18 pm
shows the sad state of ufc lw div he fights one fight and has to jump a weight class to find a credible opponent, i'm not that excited for this fight it allready happened.
Anonymous- November 17, 2008 at 2:14 pm
penn will lose this fight and be absolutley dominated. he will be lucky to make it out of the first round
Geriatric Peon- November 17, 2008 at 2:08 pm
"small-man-beats-big-man theory of Brazilian jiu-jitsu" After the video showing Penn sounding like a rutting hog when he trying to bench the equivalent of a Japanese school girl I hope he is going for a submission and not trying to knock GSP out.
jim smith- November 17, 2008 at 2:03 pm
This poster wil be the only time that Penn will look taller than GSP
mma in bklyn- November 17, 2008 at 2:02 pm
this is ridiculous!!
bj penn should be forced to defend the belt he currently holds.
there is a clear #1 contender in florian, and if bj gets beat up (which i think he will), it could be 6 months or more after this fight that florian gets his overdue shot at the lightweight belt.
while i am thrilled to see the fight between penn and st pierre, bj has only defended the lightwieht strap once in a year, and that is NOT what being the champ is about.
he should not be allowed to challenge for another title if he isnt defending the one he currently has.
silva is a perfect example of how to challenge in another weight class while being the champ in a different one.
i am very disappointed by the UFC's managing of this situation.
of course i will still watch the fight, and i am rooting for st pierre to win, but it will be bittersweet if penn gets sidlined for months afterwards and florian loses out again... keep in mind, florian only took his recent fight against stevenson to keep busy while bj prepared for his "shot" at glory.
England rules- November 17, 2008 at 1:50 pm
Defending both titles is not going to work, you would only have 2 defences at each weight class in 12 months if BJ wins...