The true test of the great fighter is how he overcomes adversity when things get rough in the cage. Those who can't are labeled quitters. B.J. Penn threw out that damning label about Georges St. Pierre during the "Primetime" preview series. He's not the only person in the fight world who thinks that GSP can be broken:
"He's so athletically gifted and he did destroy so many guys so easily. A lot of it now is if you bully him back he doesn't like it," said fighter and tv/radio analyst Frank Trigg. "B.J.'s a guy who's not scared to bully you back. (It) is that mental click in there that can step in and grab a hold of you and destroy your entire night"
Trigg told Cage Writer that Penn intimidates people because he stands right in front of them:
"You hit B.J. with your best shot and he turns around and hits you two times in the body and three times in head. And then he's all of sudden in the middle of trying to submit you again. All of sudden you start to fade. It depends on how tough you're going to be."
Trigg brought up the first Matt Hughes fight where he thought GSP cracked in the middle of the fight before he got quickly submitted. In St. Pierre's defense, that fight was in 2004 at UFC 50. Penn said that GSP quit in his fight against Matt Serra at UFC 69 in April of 2007.
As far as strategy, Trigg says it's a mistake for GSP to stay on the feet with Penn. He needs to use his wrestling to win the fight:
"You're gonna take him down pepper him, hit him with your elbows, elbow him in the thigh, score points. If it gets back to the feet, 1-2 (punches, then) look for the takedown and get him on the ground again. Make him have to get out from underneath my 187 pounds at 170 pounds himself. That's the best way to do it."
Trigg is one of the rare prognosticators who says Penn's conditioning problems have been solved. He thinks GSP will win the early rounds, Penn won't go away and that he'll come on strong to pull out the fight in five rounds. We spent a late afternoon at Xtreme Couture Gym on Thursday and Trigg wasn't the only high level fighter who used the term "front-runner".
We also addressed Karo Parisyan and his comeback. Trigg has his doubts about what Karo has been doing leading up to his fight against Dong Hyun Kim.
Check out Cage Writer's picks for all the fights at UFC 94.
Join Cage Writer on Saturday night. Maggie Hendricks will host a live chat throughout the PPV portion of UFC 94. Cofield will be cageside with updates on all 10 fights. And don't miss the only post-fight wrap-up show from the MGM starting at 10 p.m. PT/1 a.m. ET