If GSP beats Penn, he gets Silva

UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre (left) and UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn come face...

UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre (left) and UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn come face to face at press conference in Toronto Tues., Nov. 18. St-Pierre will defend his title against Penn at UFC 94 Jan. 31 in Las Vegas. (Neil Springer/SLAM! Sports)

NEIL SPRINGER -- SLAM! Sports

, Last Updated: 9:28 PM ET

TORONTO -- Georges St-Pierre versus BJ Penn is the rematch many mixed-martial-arts fans have been waiting two years to see. However, some have been critical of the superfight since it forces two deserving title contenders to sit by the wayside.

As it stands, Kenny Florian and Thiago Alves will have to wait while their respective division champions duke it out for the UFC welterweight title.

If there were any doubts that champions jumping weight classes was to be a continuing trend, UFC president Dana White put them to rest Tuesday.

"If Georges St-Pierre (beats Penn) he will get Anderson Silva," White said at a press conference promoting UFC 94 in Las Vegas Jan. 31.

The long-rumoured bout with the middleweight champion has been bounced around various Internet sites for some time now. However, as talked about as that fight is, White was in town to focus on the main event of UFC 94.

"We have a lot of great fights coming up, but this is the one I'm looking forward to," White said. "They're both world champions now. They're both in their primes. Georges St-Pierre has grown as a fighter. (Penn) is actually taking his career seriously now; he's training. This is going to be a sick fight."

Though both mixed martial artists were open about why they consider themselves the superior competitor, it was clear that any fireworks between the two would have to wait until they step into the octagon.

"I think Georges has strong takedowns, he's a great athlete and he puts his combinations together very well," Penn began. "But I honestly believe that when you're such a good athlete, no matter how hard you try, you can only be so technical.

"That's where I come in. I'm not an athletic specimen. So it forces me to be more technical because I can't get out of a tough spot using athleticism, whereas Georges can."

The welterweight champion sees things differently.

"It's not a Brazillian Jiu Jitsu fight; it's a mixed martial arts fight," St-Pierre said. "I truly believe I'm more skilled than him and in MMA I'm a better fighter than he is.

"I think I'm going to come out with a better game plan than his. I feel I'm the better athlete and overall I think I'm the better fighter. But that's why we're having this fight -- there's only one way to find out."

Though the two seem at peace around each other, they both readily admit that they can't wait to go their own ways and return to their respective camps.

"He's a nice guy and a respectful fighter, but I don't want to be near him too much," St-Pierre said. "It's like poker, I don't want to show my hand too early because then he can make adjustments. But I will a have a specific game plan for him."

No matter what happens in January, it seems Alves has a long wait ahead of him before he gets a shot at the welterweight title. Florian, on the other hand, will face Penn after St-Pierre.

To ensure the lightweight champion is motivated for the bout, Florian called Penn out this past weekend after his fight with Joe Stevenson.

"I consider you a master and now it's time to kill the master," he said in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan.

As bold a statement as that is, Penn isn't thinking past St-Pierre.

"I didn't know he wanted to kill me!" Penn said laughing. "I think he's reading the book I wrote. Aside from that, I'm not thinking about it. Would you be thinking about it when you have to worry about (St-Pierre) kicking and punching you in the face and then slamming you into the fence?

"Would you be thinking about Kenny Florian?"

Other notes from the press conference

- Despite the rumours, a fight between Anderson Silva and Chuck Liddell has not been signed. However, White didn't deny that it could happen in the near future.

- Though he frequently attacks any organization that tries to compete with the UFC, White said that when these start-ups fail, it's bad for the sport.

"It's not good for MMA," White said. "These guys come out, and they're smart guys -- they've run businesses before. But from day one they come out and just throw money at something and try to compete. It just makes no sense to me.

"I don't care if you're opening a donut shop or a fight promotion. You start out small and you build up. These guys come in and throw $60 million at something thinking they're going to be big overnight. It's stupid."


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