There was a lot of hype for UFC 94 and it seemed to deliver well. If the rematch between the now two champions wasn’t enough, BJ Penn tried to add extra hype by trash talking GSP and his camp. Penn explicitly said he was going to fight GSP to the death and that anyone that taps from strikes is a ‘little bitch’. Penn did manage to have his words play a part in the fight, but perhaps not how he planned.
The GSP vs Penn fight ended up going 4 rounds with GSP becoming more and more dominant round by round. GSP had a smart gameplan and he implemented it perfectly. He mentioned after the fight that he wanted to take down Penn and get blood running to his shoulders and away from his hands so that his boxing would be nullified. That’s exactly what seemed to happen. The ironic part came at the end of the fourth round after GSP had continually side mounted Penn and peppered him with hammerfists and elbows. BJ didn’t seem to know where he was, having to be redirected to his own corner which Penn criticized GSP for in their first fight after the initial round.
The doctor examined Penn after the fourth round and appeared willing to let the fight continue. BJs brother tapped the Dr on the shoulder and gave the signal for the fight to end. BJ himself did not protest. So much for fighting to the death. Although trash talking can be seen as just hyping up a fight, it really can make someone look foolish if they lose – especially in the same way they uttered contempt for anyone who would tap from strikes like a ‘little bitch’ which is essentially what BJ did.
Next up for GSP – Thiago Alves. Somehow I don’t think Alves will be trash talking like BJ did. Alves has already demonstrated respect for GSP.
I was eagerly anticipating the fight between Thiago Silva and Lyoto Machida. My criticism of Machida in the past wasn’t so much that he avoided strikes but moreso for his lack of offense and aggression which in turn made it just look like he was running away the whole fight. Machida may have finally put things together for this fight. He definitely looked the more aggressive of the two fighters and landed numerous strikes and at the same time, avoided punishment. I had not been much of a fan of watching Machida in the past, but I was happy to see him show a more complete performance this time around. It will lead to more success for him, more entertaining fights and perhaps even a light heavyweight title.
Nate Diaz vs Clay Guida. Clay Guida managed to outwork Diaz in this fight. Diaz seemed like he didn’t even show up. Diaz seemed to lack any zero sense of urgency. What didn’t help Diaz’ chances was that Guida basically hugged Diaz for the preponderance of the fight and the referee failed to separate them despite Guida not doing any damage whatsoever.
Overall it was a good night of fights and it did well to deliver on a much hyped event.