Completed MMA Bout

Georges St. Pierre vs. BJ Penn I

Main Card | Welterweight · 170 lbs | MMA

Georges St. Pierre defeats BJ Penn via 3 Round Decision

Georges "Rush" St. Pierre
"The Prodigy" BJ Penn

St. Pierre
Round 3

Georges St. Pierre BJ Penn

"Rush" "The Prodigy"

11-1-0   Pro Record At Fight   10-2-1
Climbed to 12-1   Record After Fight   Fell to 10-3
-115 (Near Even)   Betting Odds   -115 (Near Even)
Canada   Nationality   United States
Montreal, Quebec, Canada   Fighting out of   Hilo, Hawaii
24 years, 9 months, 1 week, 6 days   Age at Fight   27 years, 2 months, 2 weeks, 5 days
170.0 lbs (77.1 kgs)   Weigh-In Result   169.0 lbs (76.7 kgs)
5'11" (180cm)   Height   5'9" (176cm)
76.0" (193cm)   Reach   70.0" (178cm)
Tristar Gym   Gym   Jackson Wink MMA
UFC 58
  • Bout Information
  • Event: UFC 58: USA vs Canada
  • Date: Saturday 03.04.2006
  • Referee: Herb Dean
  • Venue: Mandalay Bay Events Center
  • Enclosure: Octagon
  • Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
  • Bout Billing: Main Card (fight 6 of 8)
  • Pro/Am: Professional
  • Weight: 170 lbs (77.1 kg)
  • TV Commentary: Mike Goldberg, Joe Rogan
  • Broadcast:
  • Post-Fight Interviewer: Joe Rogan
  • St. Pierre Total Disclosed Pay: $48,000
  • Penn Total Disclosed Pay: $25,000
  • Event Links:
  • Bout Links:

St. Pierre vs. Penn I Wiki Update Wiki

When Georges St. Pierre and BJ Penn first met at UFC 58 in 2006, the stakes were high. Both men had established themselves, along with reigning champion Matt Hughes, as among the premier welterweights in the world. Some felt that Penn, who had defeated Hughes in an upset two years earlier, would be too much for the young Canadian to handle. But the heart and will displayed by “Rush,” who won a tight come-from-behind decision in the biggest test of his professional career, helped establish his lasting legacy.

Early on it seemed as though GSP was the one who was outclassed. After five minutes of brutal boxing and counter-striking from Penn in round one, St. Pierre returned to his corner bruised and bloodied. By standing in the pocket for striking exchanges with “The Prodigy,” Penn had broken GSP’s nose and nearly closed one eye in only a few short minutes. As Joe Rogan described it at the time, Georges St. Pierre’s face was “a bloody mess” and BJ Penn “barely has a scratch on him.”

But in between rounds, St. Pierre showed his championship caliber by switching up his gameplan mid-fight. In a gutsy come-from-behind performance, St. Pierre took charge in the second and third rounds, nullifying Penn’s superior boxing with clinch work and frequent takedowns. Perhaps more impressive than the takedowns, however, was St. Pierre’s ability to stifle Penn’s legendary guard with positional top control. Penn’s rubber guard and sweep attempts failed to budge St. Pierre, who clearly had an even better top game than he had exhibited so far in the cage.

In the end, St. Pierre emerged with the Split Decision victory, but it was one of the most hotly debated fight results in MMA history. As a dejected Penn succinctly explained it, “after the fight he went to the hospital, I went to a bar.” The criticism was a fair one; Penn finished the fight almost completely unscathed whereas St. Pierre, the winner, was streaming blood.

The debate between the two fighters was believed to be settled when St. Pierre dominated Penn in their rematch at UFC 94 three years later, but allegations by Penn’s camp of improper “greasing” by St. Pierre’s corner during the bout once again raised controversy over who was the better fighter. In either case, the pair’s first meeting remains one of the most evenly matched battles of all time, and one of the highest skill levels ever put on display without a belt on the line.

Last updated 09.26.2012, 11:20 PM ET
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