Dana White has been saying that he believes this will be the UFC’s biggest show in their history. That’s pretty ballsy to say considering they did enormous business in November and December. But they have done everything to try to make it so. With the UFC Primetime hype machine behind it, UFC 94 is definitely a must see show. Georges St. Pierre and B.J. Penn are two fighters at the top of their weight classes at at the apex of their careers. It’s a one of a kind superstar fight.
I have asked MMA writers and hardcore fans for their predictions for the three top fights on Saturday night.
Here is the panel:
Bryan Alvarez – Bryan runs the Figure Four Online/Wrestling Observer website and writes and edits the Figure Four Weekly Newsletter.
Mike Coughlin – Mike writes columns for Figure Four Online/Wrestling Observer, hosts Five Star Radio MMA Show, and is raising money to fight cancer. Donate, if you want to help him.
Oliver Copp – Oliver co-hosts Tough Talk with Mike Sawyer at Figure Four Online/Wrestling Observer.
Vince Verhei – Vince co-hosts the Bryan & Vinny Show at Figure Four Online/Wrestling Observer and writes The Vinny V Sports Report.
Ed In San Antonio & Peachmachine – They host Drunkcast. ROH superstar Bryan Danielson is scheduled to be on the show tonight.
DakkonMC – Dan is a longtime wrestling and MMA fan and all around good guy.
Mike Strangis – Mike is a BJJ instructor at Heroes Martial Arts.
Josh Bennett – Josh is an all around great guy (helped me get tickets to UFC 84) who also takes BJJ at Counter Strike MMA Academy.
Stevie J – Stevie runs Angry Marks and is also a frequent contributor to Fight Game Blog.
Big D – D is the host of Big D and the Superfriends and also writes for Angry Marks and Fight Game Blog. In the latest episode of his podcast, Big D, Panic, and I (near the end of the show) talk UFC 94.
Duan Greally – Duan is a writer for Fight Game Blog.
Alan Counihan – Alan is a writer for Fight Game Blog.
Cactus Jim – Jim is a writer for Fight Game Blog.
Garrett Gonzales – That would be me, editor of Fight Game Blog.
Some have added just their picks, but others have added a little bit of commentary as well.
Clay Guida vs. Nate Diaz
Bryan Alvarez – Diaz
Mike Coughlin – Diaz
Oliver Copp – Diaz
So far, nobody has been able to solve the Nate Diaz mystery, and while Josh Neer gave him a lot of trouble, the thing with Diaz is that he is very disciplined. The same can’t be said for Clay Guida. I expect him to try and steamroll Nate Diaz. It’ll come down to Diaz’ discipline giving him the edge in the later rounds, giving him the win.
Vince Verhei – Diaz
Ed In San Antonio – Diaz
Peachmachine – Diaz
DakkonMC – Diaz
Mike Strangis – Diaz
Josh Bennett -Diaz
Stevie J – Diaz
Ultimately I have the feeling Guida will have a great showing, get to the third round, and Diaz will catch him and tap him in some way. It’s not the result I want, but that’s what my instincts tell me right now.
Big D – Diaz by 2nd round submission
Duan Greally – Diaz by 3rd round submission
Guida has shown an inability to finish top guys, and Diaz is just so damn active off his back, sooner or later he will catch a submission.
Alan Counihan – Guida by decision
Cactus Jim – Diaz by 2nd round submission
Garrett Gonzales – Guida by decision
Guida has such a high motor that I think Diaz will run out of time to catch him. Of course, Diaz is such a magician on the ground that he can catch anyone all of a sudden, but in a three round fight, I think Guida stays out of the submissions and wins the fight.
Thiago Silva vs. Lyoto Machida
Bryan Alvarez – Machida
Mike Coughlin – Machida
Oliver Copp – Machida
I may be in the minority here but I see this fight not even being overly competitive. Machida will elude Silva and frustrate him, opening him up to making the one mistake Machida can capitalize on. The fighter moving to 14-0 will be Lyoto Machida.
Vince Verhei – Silva
Ed In San Antonio – Machida
Peachmachine – Machida
DakkonMC – Machida
Mike Strangis – Machida
Josh Bennett – Machida
Stevie J – Machida
Big D – Machida by decision
Duan Greally – Machida by decision
Alan Counihan – Machida by 2nd round submission
Machida will frustrate Silva, capitalize on a mistake and win by sub in the 2nd.
Cactus Jim – Machida by decision
Someoneâ€™s O has got to go. Silva is strong and skilled, but Machida is elusive (politically correct) and will stay outside avoiding Silva and landing one shot and jumping back to the outside. Heâ€™ll score more and both guys will look like ass in his doing so.
Garrett Gonzales – Machida by decision
Georges St. Pierre vs. B.J. Penn
Bryan Alvarez – St. Pierre
Mike Coughlin – St. Pierre
Oliver Copp – St. Pierre
Despite a very convincing Glenn Gilberti on this week’s edition of “Tough Talk”, I’m sticking with my prediction that GSP will overwhelm BJ Penn. Going up in weight will not do BJ any favors, while GSP will be at his usual weight and cutting down from a natural 185 pounds. I expect this fight to stay standing with GSP using his superior reach to keep BJ Penn at bay.
Vince Verhei – St. Pierre
I like St. Pierre. It’s his weight class. Penn will be out of his element.
Ed In San Antonio – Penn
Peachmachine – St. Pierre
DakkonMC – St. Pierre
Mike Strangis – Penn
Josh Bennett – St. Pierre
Stevie J – St. Pierre by 4th round TKO
It’s not even that I think Penn will blow up – that whole thing about him having no cardio is so three years ago at this point. It’s simply that I think GSP is the most finely tuned athlete on the planet right now in any sport. ANY. I’ll give Penn enough credit to last to R4 before GSP finishes him via strikes.
Big D – St. Pierre by decision
I originally picked BJ Penn for the win, buuuuut after seeing the hype specials, I’ll have to go with GSP. He’s the best pure athelete in MMA, he’s so much stronger than Penn, he works harder, AND its a huge weight difference. It’ll still be a close one!
Duan Greally – St. Pierre by decision
Not because he’s the better fighter, but because he’s the bigger fighter. Penn will have to work extra hard to fend off St. Pierre’s takedowns, i don’t think he can keep it up for five rounds.
Alan Counihan – St. Pierre in the 4th
GSP will outwork BJ, tire him and win in the 4th.
Cactus Jim – Penn by 3rd round TKO
Two evenly matched competitors that had a great fight a couple years ago that I thought Penn won. The big question is always Pennâ€™s gas tank and heâ€™s struggled with it even more at 170 than at 155. I think his stand up and ability to work off his back will help him get the job done. The deeper it gets, the more likely than GSP takes this one.
Garrett Gonzales – St. Pierre by 4th round TKO
Thanks to all the folks who contributed on this preview. According to the numbers, that means St. Pierre, Machida, and Diaz should win the fights. Or else, we’re all full of it.