On a card dominated by uneventful decisions, UFC 94’s top two bouts delivered as Georges St-Pierre dominated BJ Penn on the ground en route to a fourth-round TKO victory while top light heavyweight contender Lyoto Machida used his awkward style to remain undefeated by scoring a first-round knockout of the previously unbeaten Thiago Silva.
A sell out crowd of 14,885 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, which generated a live gate of $4.3 million, erupted as St-Pierre and Penn made their entrances to the octagon for their historic main event matchup that is expected to shatter the current pay-per-view buy record held by UFC 66.
The first round saw both fighters exchange on the feet as GSP unsuccessfully worked to take Penn to the ground. Early in the second, however, St-Pierre succeeded in not only getting Penn to the canvas, but passing into side control and pounding away on Penn. After again dominating Penn on the ground in the third-round, St-Pierre poured it on in the fourth, pounding away with elbows and hammer fists that had Penn struggling to survive. Despite escaping the round, Penn’s corner had seen enough and, along with the advice of the doctor, referee Herb Dean called a stop to the contest, awarding the TKO victory to St-Pierre, who retained the UFC welterweight championship with the main event victory.
St-Pierre, who improved to 18-2 with the win, will next fight Thiago Alves, while Penn, who dropped to 13-5-1 with the loss, is likely to fight Kenny Florian next.
In the evening’s co-headliner, Lyoto Machida’s unorthodox style again proved difficult to counter as he dropped Thiago Silva twice early in the first round before putting him on the canvas with a trip takedown late in the frame. Machida pounced with only seconds remaining in the first, connecting with a perfectly-placed punch to the head that knocked Silva unconscious. A second punch sealed the knockout win as Machida delivered the impressive stoppage victory he needed to secure a likely title shot against current 205-pound title-holder Rashad Evans this summer.
Machida’s record now stands at 14-0, including six-straight wins in the UFC, while Silva’s first loss gives him a 13-1 career mark.
The two stoppage victories salvaged what was an otherwise forgettable night as the remaining eight fights all went to decision. On the main card, Jon Jones showed potential with a unanimous decision victory over Stephan Bonnar, Karo Parisyan topped Dong Hyun Kim via split decision, and Clay Guida handed Nate Diaz his first loss in the UFC with split scorecards in an entertaining opener.
Jon Fitch, Thiago Tavares, John Howard, Jake O’Brien, and Dan Cramer picked up decision victories on the UFC 94 preliminary card.
After the event, the UFC announced that Howard’s victory over Chris Wilson and Guida’s win against Diaz were the “Fights of the Night” and each of the four participants earned $65,000 “fight night” bonuses. Though deserving, the evening’s $65,000 “Knockout of the Night” award went to Machida by default, who scored the only knockout on the card with his late first-round stoppage of Silva. Because UFC 94 featured no submission stoppages, a “Submission of the Night” bonus was not awarded.
UFC 94: ST-PIERRE VS. PENN II RESULTS
- Georges St-Pierre (c) def. BJ Penn via TKO (referee’s stoppage) — Round 4, 5:00
UFC Welterweight Championship
- Lyoto Machida def. Thiago Silva via KO (punch) — Round 1, 4:59
- Jon Jones def. Stephan Bonnar via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Karo Parisyan def. Dong Hyun Kim via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Clay Guida def. Nate Diaz via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Jon Fitch def. Akihiro Gono via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
- Thiago Tavares def. Manny Gamburyan via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- John Howard def. Chris Wilson via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Jake O’Brien def. Christian Wellisch via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Dan Cramer def. Matt Arroyo via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)