Pros Pick: St. Pierre vs. Penn II

Picks from Couture & Others

By Mike Sloan Jan 30, 2009
Jeff Sherwood/

The pros give a slight
edge to Georges St. Pierre.
Stephane Vigneault: OK, first GSP is my friend and a training partner, (so) sure I am gonna say GSP. But the reality is GSP is too strong, too good everywhere, and he can do 10 five-minute rounds. I think Georges is gonna TKO him late in round three or, maximum, beginning of round four. Yes, BJ is a prodigy, but Georges is a phenom. And BJ’s not gonna be able to keep the pace with Georges because of his size and his strength. It’s gonna be the same thing (as the Serra fight) in Montreal. The fight is gonna start slowly, but Georges is gonna dominate, dominate and dominate again until BJ is too tired and it’s gonna be the time to finish him.

Randy Couture: I think GSP will win in the later rounds. It could go the distance. BJ will be very sharp and dangerous early in the fight, but we see the BJ Penn at 155.

Gabe Ruediger: I’ve known BJ for years, and he has always had the gift. He was meant for fighting and he has excelled at this, like he did in jiu-jitsu. GSP is great and improves every single time he fights. This fight will be great no matter what the outcome, and both guys deserve the utmost respect. This could be a matchup of two of the very best ever. That said, I’m going with BJ. His only drawback in fighting has been drive. Now that he has that, it is scary.

Stav Economou: BJ by decision. Penn's cardio was the main factor of his loss in their last fight, but it won't be this time. BJ is too tough and too skillful to be stopped, and with his new cardio, I think he'll win with a decision.

Patrick Cote: That will be a crazy war! I’ll go with my buddy Georges in the fourth round by submission.

Kultar Gill: GSP by fourth-round ref stoppage.

Scott Epstein: What a tough fight to call. I want them both to win. In the last fight I felt BJ was very close to winning till the rib injury or whatever it was. BJ can sub GSP, but it will have to happen in an early round before sweat -- slippery limbs are hard to snap -- and fatigue becomes a factor. Now GSP is always doing the unexpected -- taking down top-level wrestlers. Imagine he subs BJ. Calm down, I said IMAGINE. I guess I’ll have to weigh out the strengths of each competitor. Jiu-jitsu: BJ. Takedowns: GSP. Takedown defense: BJ. Boxing: BJ. Thai Boxing: GSP. Wrestling: GSP. Brings hotter chicks to fights: BJ. Conditioning has always been GSP, but BJ has been working on his. It seems pretty even. I’m tossing a coin -- heads, it’s BJ. The 1969 quarter came up heads. BJ it is. I can’t argue with the coin.

Tom Gavrilos: Sucks that someone has to be a loser in this one. When it comes down to it, I just don't think it’s possible for BJ to be as conditioned at 170 pounds as he is at 155 pounds. He has to carry extra weight, and it’s not possible for it to be even close to 15 pounds of muscle. Early advantage to BJ. If the rounds move on, the fight shifts in favor of GSP. My breakdown -- BJJ: BJ. Wrestling: GSP. Striking (all areas): GSP. Chin: BJ. Takedown defense: BJ. Conditioning: GSP. In the end if I had to choose, I would go with BJ. Can't wait to see this fight!

Michael Guymon: This fight is going to come down to positioning, and GSP is gonna own it. I love BJ, but GSP is just too much for him. Frenchy wins this in the fourth by ground-and-pound.

James Thompson: Really finding it hard to decide a winner in this one. I keep changing my mind. In the end I am going for GSP, as I think BJ is better at lightweight than welterweight. That’s the only reason I’m giving GSP the edge.

Elvis Sinosic: GSP and BJ are both very talented competitors. Both have top-notch striking, grappling and wrestling. I think BJ is a whiz at lightweight. GSP is a machine at welterweight. This will be a good fight, but I believe GSP will neutralize BJ and punish him. GSP has the size, strength and cardio to push BJ around for five rounds. BJ has great cardio at lightweight but has been suspect at welterweight. When skill is even (or close), size, strength, speed and cardio are what decide the match. I think BJ should stay at lightweight and clean out that division before taking on the welterweights. GSP will win this match, but BJ will look good in the loss. Hopefully he goes back and cleans out the lightweight division.

Rory Markham: I would love to say that this is an easy call. I would like to see BJ win to keep the mystery of martial arts alive. Like Royce back in the day, there was an aura of invincibility reinforced by this little man with a hidden martial art that could defeat anyone. I think BJ still gives us a bit of that feeling. Unfortunately he is going up against what appears to be the best athlete in the sport today. Georges has vastly improved in all areas of the game since their last go. I will sit back not as a fighter but as a fan and enjoy the hell out of this one.

Pros who picked St. Pierre: 15
Pros who picked Penn: 14
Pros who couldn’t decide: 1
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