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UFC 94 Review: St-Pierre stops Penn after four

UFC 94 came to us all live on January 31, 2009 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. We're talking about Georges St. Pierre vs. B.J. Penn 2. A nice appetizer?or main dish, depending on your vantage?the day before the Super Bowl. Not to mention a fight between undefeated light heavyweights Thiago Silva and Lyoto Machida.

Let's get this thing going.

First up was a match between Clay Guida and Nate Diaz. "I'm just gonna come after him, wear him down," said Guida beforehand. That's the kind of fighter Guida is. But Diaz is the kind that submits people while they're trying to impose their will, making this a great undercard bout.

Early on, Diaz's reach and superior striking was evident, as he connected more than his adversary. But then Diaz went for the takedown and momentarily ended up mounted before gaining the guard. From there, Diaz got to his feet, and Guida took his back. Once they hit the canvas, Guida used a full nelson to connect with elbows. Diaz got up; Guida picked him up and slammed him back to the canvas. Though positions changed from there, Guida landed some ground and pound and dirty boxing throughout the stanza.

Give Guida the round.

There was lots of action inside early in the second, with Guida getting the better of it. Diaz looked for a standing Kimora unsuccessfully. Eventually, Guida got him to the ground, but it was short lived. Guida then held onto his back from a standing position, sporadically connecting with punches. Though Diaz threw him to the ground, Guida ended up on top and eventually regained his position?on Diaz's back while standing?from there. Another similar throw by Guida came just seconds later. Unfortunately for him, it left Guida in a better position than him once more.

That was a close round. Probably should give it to Guida.

Early in the third, Diaz did some damage on the feet with solid punches from a distance. Then Guida started what he'd been doing all fight long?controlling Diaz from the top by taking his back and every now and then taking the bout to the canvas. Due to the beginning of the round, Diaz probably took the stanza. But in the end, Guida controlled things enough to take this fight.

Most of the judges agreed.

Clay Guida wins via split decision.

"I want to be two to three steps ahead of him," said Karo Parisyan before taking on Dong Hyun Kim in the next fight. But the question was, on the heels of some personal problems against an expert judoka like himself, would he be able to be?

Right off the bat, the two clinched and Kim ended up on top, a rarity when you consider the fact that most of the time when Parisyan clinches he ends up with a highlight reel takedown. From there, Kim took his back. Eventually, Parisyan stood with him in this position. Then he tried to throw him off, but just ended up with his adversary on his back on the ground connecting with sporadic punches. Parisyan then stood and tried to throw him once more but ended up in a bad position on the canvas once again for his efforts.

That's when Kim went for an armbar. It was a good attempt that failed, leaving Parisyan in a good position. Then came a Kim triangle attempt that went by the wayside. Eventually, Kim started winning the position battle again, hitting home with shots from the ground and the clinch. Then the bell.

A clear round for Kim.

The second round started with Kim controlling things in a similar fashion to the first. Parisyan used a Kimura attempt to improve his position, but in the end not much happened with it. Then he managed to throw Kim hard to the ground, ending up in side control. However, Kim got to his feet.

The rest of the stanza took place on their feet where Parisyan connected more than his adversary.

Give this round to Parisyan because of the better striking at the end. The third round should decide this one.

The third saw Kim wrestle Parisyan to the ground. Parisyan then pushed him off with his legs and almost lost a point because it could have been construed as a kick to the face of a downed opponent. Kim wrestled him to the ground again momentarily, but Parisyan got up quickly. After some jostling, Parisyan wrestled Kim to the ground, but Kim got right back up.

This one is close.

Parisyan wrestled Kim to the canvas again for a brief moment, but did nothing with it. The mouthpiece that fell out twice on him earlier, almost losing him a point, nearly came out on multiple occasions in the final round (something must be wrong there). The two traded punches with Kim getting the best shot in before the bell.

Tough final round to score. I'd probably give it to Parisyan, as he controlled things for longer and that's what this round was truly about. But it was close enough to go either way.

In the end, Karo Parisyan won a split decision. There were some boos afterwards.

Next up was a fight between Stephan Bonnar and Jon Jones. Hard to know how Bonnar, a man coming back from a difficult injury, would perform against a solid competitor and former wrestler.

Let's see how it went.

Jones connected with some nice kicks early on, including a spinning sidekick. He then tried to smother Bonnar against the cage wall, before throwing him hard to the canvas. Bonnar then got back to his feet and was tripped to the ground once again. Though he got up, Bonnar accepted a hard knee to his body for his efforts.

Later in the round, after a couple of nice takedowns by Jones, the younger fighter managed to connect with a huge spinning elbow on Bonnar that dropped him.

What an exciting fighter this Jones is. Somehow Bonnar managed to survive the ground and pound onslaught that followed.

After another excellent knee and takedown by Jones, the round ended. On the replay, it kind of looked like that spinning elbow of his connected with the back of Bonnar's head. Along with this, Bonnar proved his toughness just getting through the stanza.

The second saw Jones do much of the same with devastating and unorthodox takedowns, kicks, and punches. However, toward the end of another dominant stanza, Bonnar started to connect a little as Jones began to look tired.

Still, this one is clearly 2-0 in Jones' favor going into the third.

The third saw Bonnar connect with a lot of decent shots in dirty boxing style. But upon a Bonnar attempt at a takedown, Jones ended up on top. Bonnar then went for a triangle choke unsuccessfully. Eventually, the fight came to their feet where Bonnar stalked Jones for the rest of the stanza.

Close third round. But the fight definitely went to Jones.

Jon Jones wins via unanimous decision. This 21 year old is someone to watch.

In the next fight, as goes the saying, someone's 0 had to go. Before the bout, Thiago Silva said, "tonight I will knock him out and I will stay undefeated." On the other hand, Machida didn't seem worried.

Big fight, people.

Early on, Machida picked his spots, connecting with shots that scored but not much else. Then he came inside with a successful lightning fast foot sweep. Silva got to his feet soon after. Then came a hard knee to the body and left to the face by Machida that downed his opponent. Unable to do much on the ground on top, Machida stood up, accepted several low kicks from a bicycling Silva, and then once again took the top position on the ground. Soon after, Machida let Silva up.

Eventually, a hard right by Machida dropped Silva again. From there, Machida gained side control and then the mount momentarily before standing up. Though the fight went to the ground again, Silva managed to get to his feet soon after.

Then seconds before the bell, Machida threw Silva to the canvas and followed things up at the bell with a hard ground and pound right hand that knocked Silva out cold.

Lyoto Machida wins via KO at 4:59 of the first round. This guy just makes you want to start training in Shotokan.

"This is without a doubt the biggest fight of my career," said BJ Penn before taking on Georges St. Pierre. When you consider the guys he's fought in the past, well, that's saying something.

It's saying that this was the Super Bowl of MMA. With that, let's get to how one of the biggest MMA fights in history went down.

Right off the bat, the two clinched and exchanged knees. St. Pierre went in and grabbed a leg, but Penn shirked the attempt, landing right hands in the process. They separated and traded shots, but then St. Pierre clinched with The Prodigy again. After another failed St. Pierre takedown attempt, the two separated and started trading shots. By the end of the stanza, the Canadian fighter was connecting more on his feet.

That was a very close round. St. Pierre may have won it, but it was close.

Early on, Penn connected with a couple of nice lefts. Then St. Pierre clinched with his adversary, pressing him up against the cage wall. But this time when St. Pierre grabbed Penn's leg he achieved the takedown that he so desired.

However, by getting Penn down, St. Pierre put himself in a dangerous spot as well. Still, some hard shots from St. Pierre allowed him the opportunity to pass to side control. There the Canadian fighter connected with some nice shots, including a knee to the ribs, before Penn managed to gain guard again. However, that didn't stop the devastating strikes that St. Pierre was dishing out. Though positions changed for the rest of the stanza, one thing didn't.

St. Pierre continued to connect with big shots. Then the bell. A clear stanza for the Canadian fighter, which ended with Penn cut (small) underneath his eye. Between rounds, Penn looked tired.

Early in the third, St. Pierre connected with stiff jabs in bunches. Soon after, St. Pierre took Penn down and passed his guard to half guard. Eventually, taking shots the whole while, Penn got back to guard. Then he got to his feet. For several moments, St. Pierre shirked a Penn takedown attempt before turning the tables and taking him down hard. Soon after came the bell.

Another round for St. Pierre. If Penn wins, it will be by stoppage. In between rounds, Penn didn't look good to the point that his trainers kept asking if he was alright. Maybe just fatigue.

Maybe not.

St. Pierre connected with shots on his feet early and then took Penn down in the fourth. Then he moved to side control. Lots of pounding followed until the bell, even if the ground positions did change. Penn was truly battered by the bell.

Between rounds, the doctor stopped the fight appropriately. Georges St. Pierre wins by way of TKO.

Georges St. Pierre has now made a push to be named the greatest welterweight fighter of all-time.

In the end, UFC 94 was a night where two fighters truly stepped up to show the world that they were ready. Georges St. Pierre stepped up to announce that he was ready to be considered one of the greatest champions of all-time. Lyoto Machida stepped up to say that he was ready to get a title shot.

A fun and historic night.

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