UFC 94 St.Pierre vs. Penn: Preview and picks

UFC 94 St.Pierre vs. Penn: Preview and picks

UFC 94 St.Pierre vs. Penn: Preview and picks
By Robert Rousseau

Georges St. Pierre (17-2) vs. B.J. Penn (13-4-1)

St. Pierre is a huge welterweight that’s as strong as some of the middleweights out there. He may be the most explosive MMA athlete of all time.

On top of it all, St. Pierre is the best MMA wrestler in the world at this weight class, has ridiculous power in his hands, above-average submission skills and displays better-than-average technique on his feet. St. Pierre is far better than he was when he first met up with B.J. Penn in 2006.

Penn is one of the greatest submission fighters of all time. Every moment you’re on the ground with this guy, whether you’re on top or not, you’re in danger. His balance and flexibility seem unparalleled. He’s also an excellent stand-up fighter, particularly in regard to his pure boxing skills.

Of course, in the past Penn has gassed later in fights against bigger opponents (St. Pierre and Matt Hughes). However, he’s been in outstanding shape in his past few fights.

Many are talking about how improved Penn’s cardio is since these two last met. That appears to be true but it’s hard to know if the size of Hughes and St. Pierre significantly impacted Penn’s wind.

Fewer people are talking about the improvements St. Pierre has made since these two last fought. His confidence, cardio, stand up and wrestling are just on another level in comparison to what they were back then.

Penn could catch St. Pierre with a big punch or submission but my guess is that St. Pierre will wear down his smaller opponent with timely take downs and serious ground and pound. It will be too much by the fifth round.

Pick: Georges St. Pierre wins via TKO in Round 5 (ground and pound).

Lyoto Machida (13-0) vs. Thiago Silva (13-0)

Thiago Silva will need to turn this into an ugly fight in order to win. Lots of dirty boxing, maybe some ground and pound and work in the clinch. He’s got the skills to do it.

But it is important to remember what happened to Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou when he came after Machida aggressively. He got beaten down bad by the more technically advanced fighter.

Silva will make Machida uncomfortable in spots and expect this to be Machida’s toughest test to date. But in the end, Silva’s aggressiveness may work against him, leaving him open for one of those devastating strikes.

Pick: Lyoto Machida wins by way of Round 2 TKO.

Nate Diaz (10-2) vs. Clay Guida (24-6)

On their feet, this is a close fight. But Guida will eventually look to take Diaz down. That’s when the fun will start.

Guida won’t have much of a problem getting his opponent to the ground. He won’t tire through three rounds and will keep those take downs coming.

The question is, can he avoid a Diaz submission while he grounds and pounds his way to victory?

Guida will be able to avoid that fight, ending this on by submission.

Pick: Clay Guida wins via unanimous decision.

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