Georges St. Pierre will defend his belt against lightweight titleholder B.J. Penn in what has already become the most anticipated bout of 2009 at UFC 94 on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas.
“I look forward to this fight,” St. Pierre (17-2) told Sherdog.com in an exclusive video interview.
The two superstars, both considered among the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world, met previously at UFC 58 in March 2006. St. Pierre was awarded a controversial split decision over the popular Hawaiian and would capture the welterweight crown from Matt Hughes eight months later.
“I think I’m very different [now],” St. Pierre said. “He’s different, too. He’s very well-rounded, but he’s got a lot of holes in his game.”
Since his stunning April 2007 defeat to Matt Serra, St. Pierre has looked all but unbeatable, rattling off wins against four top 10 opponents -- Hughes, Serra, Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch. The 27-year-old halted Fitch’s record-tying eight-fight winning streak inside the Octagon with a unanimous decision victory at UFC 87 in August.
St. Pierre has already started to prepare for Penn (13-4-1), who stopped Sean Sherk on strikes at UFC 84 in May.
“I always train hard; I’m always in shape,” he said. “I’m not one of those guys who [trains] because he has to do it. I do it because I love it.”