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Old 01-26-2009, 07:07 AM
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Default Hughes, Serra and Sherk weigh in on GSP-Penn II

Quote:

Serra:

“Personally, I think it’s going to come down to strategy,” says Matt Serra, who fought BJ Penn back in September if 2002 and belt-swapped with St-Pierre twice recently.

“You’re talking about two guys that are extremely gifted and dangerous in all aspects of the fight game. What I think is, if GSP stands in the center of the Octagon and tries to go blow-for-blow and tries to take out BJ on his feet, I definitely think that’ll be a disadvantage to him. If the fight stays in the center of the Octagon, BJ will pick him apart, hurt him and ultimately put him away.”

“With GSP I think it’s going to be reminiscent of the last two rounds of their last fight,” the New Yorker says. “He’s going to use his wrestling ability—even if he can’t get him down right away—he will get him to the cage, take his time and work him over a little bit, keep wearing him down, and over the course of that five-round fight that’s going to take its toll and lead to a decision win. He can out-point him that way, and basically beat BJ with takedowns and his wrestling ability.”
Quote:
Sherk:

“BJ’s flexibility poses a lot of problems, obviously, and he’s really hard to take down because his legs are like rubber,” the Muscle Shark says. “And when he gets on the ground, he’s able to do a lot of weird, different submission stuff that you wouldn’t expect because you don’t see guys like that everyday.”

“BJ’s punching power, he’s probably one of the hardest hitting guys I’ve fought,” he says. “He hit real hard. His placement, I noticed when I fought him, was right on the money, every single time. And he’s real good at finding that chin, so that’s going to pose problems for St.-Pierre. His timing and his range are good, too.”

“I think both pose a lot of problems for each other, and it’s what intrigues people about this fight,” he says. “The last time they fought it was right down to the wire. A lot of people said Penn won, a lot of people said St-Pierre won. But I don’t see BJ getting knocked out. I don’t see BJ getting submitted. If anything, I see a decision by St-Pierre or a knockout by Penn.”
Quote:
Hughes:

“What I’ve seen over the years, to be honest with you, I think Pierre’s evolved more since the last time they fought [at UFC 58 in 2006]. I see a lot of different attributes and I see him getting better at a lot of different stuff—crisper striking, tighter combos, better wrestling, his takedowns are really good, and his footwork and his Jiu-Jitsu have even gotten better, though we haven’t seen him on the ground a lot. Where with Penn, I think he’s been a little more stagnant, in my opinion, so I think St-Pierre’s evolved a lot more.”

“Well, I think that cardio is going to be BJ’s nightmare,” he says. “He’s just always seemed to have that problem where when it gets in the later rounds he just gets tired, but hopefully he’s prepared to go all five rounds. The last time I fought BJ, he surprised me with his lack of gas and maybe not being prepared.”

“Georges had problems in their last fight with BJ’s speed,” he says, adding that he would have scored the first round 10-8 for Penn. “One thing I always tell fighters is don’t try and counter a quicker fighter, you’re going to be sitting there with nothing. For Georges to be successful, he’s got to go out there and be the dictator, go out there and be the first to pull the trigger. He can’t sit there and let BJ get off as many times as he wants and try and counter him, because you can’t counter a quicker fighter. That speed could hurt GSP.”

“Georges is just an athlete, no doubt, and when you’re an athlete you don’t have to know all the submissions and all the technique, because your athleticism will overcome some of that. On the ground I see this fight being pretty equal, the wrestling going to GSP. BJ’s never been a great offensive wrestler, he’s been very defensive.”

“I believe this is going to be a close fight. I think if it ends early, BJ’s going to get his hand raised, and if it ends later, then Georges’ will get his hand raised.”
http://www.ufc.com/index.cfm?fa=news.detail&gid=17361
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