David Barnet's UFC 94 Preview!

The most anticipated rematch in Ultimate Fighting Championship history will finally happen Saturday night as Georges Rush St-Pierre is set to defend his UFC welterweight title against UFC lightweight champion B.J. The Prodigy Penn.

The most anticipated rematch in Ultimate Fighting Championship history will finally happen Saturday night as Georges "Rush" St-Pierre is set to defend his UFC welterweight title against UFC lightweight champion B.J. "The Prodigy" Penn.

Perfect records and a possible title shot will be on the line as undefeated light heavyweights Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida battles fellow Brazilian Thiago Silva at UFC 94: ST-PIERRE VS. PENN 2 live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, January 31, 2009.

The main card will also feature the return of Stephan Bonnar as faces the undefeated Jon "Bones" Jones. Karo "The Heat" Parisyan will lock up with Korean superstar Dong Hyun Kim and Nate Diaz will meet Clay "The Carpenter" Guida in the night's first bout.

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Georges St-Pierre
Height: 5' 10" (178 cm) Weight: 170 (77 kg)
Record: 17-2-0
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BJ Penn
Height: 5' 9" (175 cm) Weight: 170 (77 kg)
Record: 13-4-1

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Ali-Frazier, Hagler-Hearns, St-Pierre-Penn ... battles of epic proportions between two of the world's best fighters during their respective prime comes once a lifetime. The UFC version has two of its champions face off.

After claiming a razor-thin split decision over BJ Penn back in March 2006, GSP earned a title shot against then champion Matt Hughes and went on to claim the UFC welterweight title at UFC 65. Penn would later return to the lightweight division capturing the title in just his second bout. The two will meet Saturday to settle the score.

GSP is currently riding a 4-fight win streak and looks to be in the best shape of his career. The French Canadian is an excellent kick boxer with world class wrestling skills. His wrestling skills will come in handy as he faces a savvy grappler in Penn. GSP's athleticism and cardio have never been questioned during a fight, but his mental toughness has. A therapist has since helped him with his confidence issues and pre-fight anxiety.

"George ... I'm going to try to kill you and I'm not joking about this," BJ Penn said during UFC Prime Time. Penn isn't a stranger to "mind games" and has not forgotten the fragility of the heart and mind of GSP.

"The Hilo Kid" is known for his outstanding boxing skills, even famed boxing trainer Freddy Roach has stated that Penn is the best striker in Mixed Martial Arts. His foundation however is grappling, Penn is considered by many to possess the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills in MMA.

The confident "Prodigy" has hands of steel and possesses a mean streak second only to Mike Tyson. He only wants to kill his opponents, not his kids!

Desire and conditioning have been the few chinks in Penn's armor. In the past, Penn has been known as a bit lax during his training and has been on the pudgy side during his fights. Since his move to the lightweight division all those assumptions have been squashed and Penn has been unstoppable. He dominated his last three fights against Jens Pulver, Joe Stevenson and Sean Sherk. All three were smaller in stature to Penn and the tables will be turned as he faces the bigger GSP. Penn has had his struggles with stronger wrestlers in the past with Matt Hughes and GSP.

The longer this fight goes the more it benefits the better conditioned GSP. GSP has come out nervous in the early goings of previous fights and will have to shake those nerves before Penn does it for him. If GSP survives the first two rounds, he should be able to leg kick out another decision. However, Penn is a fighter and loves to scrap and will look to punish GSP early and often. I like BJ Penn with a second round knockout.

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Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida
Height: 6' 1" (185 cm) Weight: 205 (93 kg)
Record: 13-0-0
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Thiago Silva
Height: 6' 1" (185 cm) Weight: 205 (93 kg)
Record: 13-0-0

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Fellow countrymen Lyoto Machida and Thiago Silva are near mirror images of each other. Equal height and weight and both possess an undefeated record, however the buck stops there. Their fighting styles couldn't be any more different. The ultra aggressive Silva better bring his running shoes as he faces the ever elusive Machida.

"The Dragon" is coming off the biggest victory of his career at UFC 84 where he earned a unanimous decision over Tito Ortiz. He was able to stay out of harm's way and eluded the takedowns of Ortiz for 15 minutes. His elusive, counter-punching fighting style is known to be boring, but it earns him victories. His precise Muay Thai skills and tempo controlling ability provides fits for anyone. Machida is still undefeated and may be one victory away from a title shot.

A prodigy of the famed and feared Chute Boxe Academy in Brazil, Thiago Silva brings the same ferocity that made his former training partners Wanderlei Silva and "Shogun" Rua famous. He uses his brute strength not only for his striking, but for his BJJ skills as well. His aggressive style has paid dividends as he has only gone to decision once in his professional career.

It shouldn't take long for Machida to adapt to the fighting style of Silva, as he trains with another aggressive Silva; Anderson Silva. If Machida can stay out of the Silva's pocket, he should earn yet another decision victory. I hope I'm wrong; I would love nothing more than for Silva to knock the snot out of Machida!

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Stephan "The American Psycho" Bonnar
Height: 6' 4" (193 cm) Weight: 205 (93 kg)
Record: 14-4-0
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Jon "Bones" Jones
Height: 6' 4" (193 cm) Weight: 205 (93 kg)
Record: 7-0-0

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Stephan Bonnar makes his return to the octagon after a severe knee injury kept him sidelined for 2008. He faces Jon "Bones" Jones who will be making his second appearance in the octagon.

Bonnar last competed at UFC 77 where he dominated Eric Schafer and finally showed the well-rounded potential he showed on The Ultimate Fighter 1. His strength has always been the ground game; he is a BJJ black belt. His durability and striking improve fight to fight.

Jones is an explosive and athletic fighter from New York, who looked impressive against Andre Gusmao at UFC 87. Jones' key to victory is to keep the fight standing and to stay off his back. Bonnar is too tough when he has top position. Bonnar shouldn't have too much trouble with Jones and will submit him in round 1.

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Karo "The Heat" Parisyan
Height: 5' 10" (178 cm) Weight: 170 (77 kg)
Record: 26-5-0
Vs
Dong Hyun "Stun Gun" Kim
Height: 6' 1" (185 cm) Weight: 170 (77 kg)
Record: 11-0-1

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The waiting list for a welterweight title shot is long and full of VIP's vying for a seat. If Karo Parisyan loses to Kim Saturday night, he might want to change restaurants.

Parisyan is similar to BJ Penn of old, a lot of talent with no cardio. This Armenian judoka has fought many of the best welterweights that the UFC has to offer. The results have been mixed and Karo reluctantly finds himself as the division's gatekeeper. His judo throws followed by submission attempts have been successful in the past and he should revert to that strategy.

Kim has been victorious in his first two UFC outings with victories over Jason Tan and Matt Brown. He's a well rounded fighter with strong submissions and a sound ground and pound game.

If Karo comes into this fight in shape it's his fight to win. Kim hasn't faced anyone the caliber of Karo outside of Asia and it'll be interesting how he reacts to fighting on the UFC main card for the first time. I'll give the nod to Karo via unanimous decision.

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Nate Diaz
Height: 6' 0" (183 cm) Weight: 155 (70 kg)
Record: 10-2-0
Vs
Clay "The Carpenter" Guida
Height: 5' 7" (170 cm) Weight: 155 (70 kg)
Record: 24-6-0

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Two of the more exciting lightweights will open the night's main card as Nate Diaz looks to remain unbeaten within the UFC. He faces fan favorite Clay Guida.

The workman-like attitude of Clay Guida has found him success within the Octagon. Since losing a tough battle to Roger Huerta, Guida bounced back with a lopsided victory over Mac Danzig. Guida is relentless with takedown after takedown, but has been caught with submissions while on the ground.

Diaz's strengths are his reach and BJJ. He's long and lean with crisp striking and is most comfortable on his back. Don't be surprised if Guida is able to take him down or if Diaz pulls guard. His durability will come into question against Guida's ground and pound, but he should be able to find one of the many holes in Guida's submission defense. Third round triangle choke for Nate Diaz.

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