B.J. Penn talked a serious game going into his Saturday showdown with Georges St. Pierre at UFC 94.
"I'm going to try and kill you, but it's nothing personal," Penn said to the French Canadian during a promotional video shoot before the two pound-for-pound aces squared off.
Au contraire, mon frère. St. Pierre answered, in devastating fashion, as he owned Penn from the get-go and forced the Hawaiian's corner to halt the violent bludgeoning of their man after four rounds at the MGM in Las Vegas.
Penn's face throbbed from the hard rain of GSP's strikes and his pride took a nasty beating as well, as evidenced by his exit from the Octagon before he could be subjected to a post-mortem query session by Joe Rogan.
It was billed as the biggest fight in MMA history, but we learned that sometimes the fight doesn't match the hype.
So what else did we learn from UFC 94?
1. Hey, Alves, have you ever heard of the term "step-aside money?"
Can't speak for you, but after I saw St. Pierre (18-2) dismantle the Prodigy (13-5-1) and make him look like someone debuting in the Octagon, I played matchmaker in my head.
How about, for his next outing, we match St. Pierre, who has now elevated himself to legend-of-the-sport status, with 16-3 Thiago Alves? The fight that needs to happen next is GSP versus his main rival for the top spot on the P4P ladder, Anderson Silva.
Who among you doubts that the welterweight St. Pierre could acquit himself quit nicely against the middleweight Silva?
2. So, Penn, is it safe to say you won't be calling out Lesnar?
Dana White hasn't been shy about proclaiming to all that will listen that he thinks Penn is best suited to stay ensconced at 155 pounds, where his frame is best suited.
Still, White gave Penn what he wanted -- a shot against St. Pierre, whose muscles and skills have grown like the stock in your area pawnshop in the past few months. And White really thought Penn had a shot at being a two division champ; he likened this rematch to Marvin Hagler's 1985 clash with Tommy Hearns, when the middleweight king was challenged by the cream of the junior middleweight crop. But Hearns was only jumping up six pounds. Penn was leaping what seemed like a 50-pound gap. And, oh yeah, Hagler blew out the smaller guy, Hearns, in three rounds.
3. Try telling Silva that Machida is too cautious
Lyoto Machida (14-0) has taken flak for being too cerebral, too cautious. He and his people told naysayers to be patient. They said he was still getting used to the Octagon. They weren't lying.
Machida's steamrolling of Thiago Silva (13-1) bumped him up another notch on the P4P ladder and made him almost even money when he gets a crack at light heavyweight champ Rashad Evans.
4. The UFC brass can forget about a holiday card from Bonnar!
Was Stephan Bonnar (12-4) thrown in tough for his first action in 15 months or what?
Bonnar looked rusty after getting the OK to scrap following knee surgery, and Joe Silva puts him in with 21-year-old future star Jon Jones (8-0), who had way too much in the fast-twitch muscle department for the 31-year-old Bonnar.
This loss won't look as bad in two years when Jones holds a belt.
5. How about a Guida reality show?
All that unruly hair, all that burping in between rounds: Has anyone pitched a "let's clean up Clay Guida with a style and decorum makeover" reality show? I think it would work.
Joking aside, Guida (25-9) has cast aside his Tasmanian Devil style and is now more methodical. He's fighting smarter, not harder, and his win over Nate Diaz (10-2) was most welcomed by MMA fans who don't care for Diaz's excessive cockiness.
Michael Woods, the managing editor of TheSweetScience.com, has written for ESPN The Magazine, GQ and The New York Observer.