This Saturday, March 4th, BJ Penn and George St. Pierre will face off in the Octagon at UFC: 58. These two are the top fighters in the 170 lbs division and considered by many fans to be ranked (relatively) 1 and 2 in the world in that division.
BJ Penn is considered by many to be the pound for pound best fighter in the world. He has career victories over many great fighters including the the most dominant fighter in UFC history, Matt Hughes (which at this time has the UFC Welter Weight Title). Penn last fought in the UFC back in January of 2004 winning the title from Hughes. Wanting to compete against better and bigger fighters Penn left UFC to fight overseas, which incidently strips his UFC title. Outside of UFC, Penn fought in the 185 lbs and 205 weight division and have done stellar garnering him that pound for pound status by the fans (NOTE: Penn started his career fighting in the lightweight division at 155 lbs). Zuffa (The company that owns and runs UFC) has now re-signed Penn back into the UFC, and he is looking to get his title back from Hughes once again, but a road block lies ahead and that road block is named George St. Pierre.
George St. Pierre (GSP) is the up and coming fighter. He’s the future breed of MMA fighters. Not only did he beat three top ranked fighters, but he made them look bad, in fact, demolishing them as if they had no reason being in MMA. Similar to Penn, GSP has also fought Matt Hughes. GSP was beating Matt throughout the fight, but ends up getting caught with a submission in literally the last second of the first round leaving it the only loss on his almost perfect record. Since that loss, GSP has been on the warpath to get that title shot again. And BJ Penn is the only person standing in his way.
This has “Fight of the Year” written all over it. Why is that? I’ll tell you why. Both Penn and GSP have excellent striking and jiu jitsu skills. Penn is slick and can submit GSP if he makes a slight mistake, whereas GSP is tremendously quick and strong and can put Penn on his back where he can utilize those Canadian elbows. People say there’s a slight edge for Penn to win due to his more extensive experience, but it’s so razor thin that it comes down to who makes the first mistake.
What’s my pick? I’m going for the Canadian. Again, GSP is on the warpath, and Penn has never fought anyone who is as explosive as George St. Pierre.