(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.