All signs point to a rematch between UFC champions Georges
St. Pierre (Pictures) and B.J. Penn
(Pictures) on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas, the
French Canadian’s manager Shari Spencer confirmed on the Sherdog
Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show Monday.
“That’s my understanding,” said Spencer. “I know [UFC President]
Dana [White] has been announcing it publicly. We haven’t officially
signed a bout agreement, but everything is pointing toward January
31 in Vegas against B.J. Penn.”
Current welterweight king St. Pierre (17-2) edged out a split
decision victory over his lightweight counterpart Penn (13-4-1)
over three back-and-forth rounds at UFC 58 in March 2006.
Nearly three years later, the 29-year-old Penn --- now the UFC’s
undisputed lightweight champion on a three-fight win streak –- and
a majority of fans have clamored for the second meeting, which will
pair up two of the sport’s most gifted athletes.
Spencer confirmed news of the potential 170-pound title bout on the
heels of intensive renegotiations with Zuffa LLC, parent company to
the UFC, to retain St. Pierre’s services.
Following the Quebec native’s five-round decimation of the durable
but overmatched Jon Fitch
(Pictures) at UFC 87 on Aug. 9 in Minnesota,
St. Pierre had one fight remaining on his contract with the
“We've been in long discussions with the UFC for several months,”
said Spencer. “I am not at liberty to say anything right now. But
there should be some news coming out regarding that very
A mixture of athleticism, work ethic and professionalism in and out
of the cage, the 27-year-old St. Pierre has risen to become one of
the sport’s most marketable and sought-after stars.
With word of St. Pierre’s current contract reaching its maturation,
speculation mounted that the affable champion might consider
migration to a rival promotion, particularly Affliction
Entertainment, which enjoys a healthy clothing sponsorship deal
with the fighter.
Fighters were forbidden from wearing the wildly popular clothing
brand once Affliction decided to enter the market as a rival
promoter last year. St. Pierre was among those affected by the
Affliction held its first event “Banned” on July 19 in Anaheim,
Calif., in front of a sell-out crowd of nearly 15,000 patrons. It’s
pay-per-view numbers have been estimated between an impressive
85,000-135,000 buys, and the company will hold its second event on
Oct. 11 in Las Vegas.
"We've had a very strong and supportive relationship with
Affliction as a clothing sponsor ever since I have been involved
with Georges, and it's grown during that time,” said Spencer. “We
have a loyalty to them as a clothing sponsor and we have a loyalty
to our promoter, and a respect for their decision not to allow a
competing promoter to have brand placement within their event.
“We don't have to like it, we respect it obviously, and understand
it. Having said that, it's still difficult. The UFC right now,
they're a privately held company. I think Dana has also used the
term to describe it as the ‘wild west.’ It lacks a strong
infrastructure, it lacks a governing body, so you dance with the
guy that 'brung' you to the dance so to speak. It's their rules,
it's their show, so we respect that.”
Click here to listen to Shari Spencer’s interview on
the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show.