It didn't take long for fans to realize B.J. Penn would not get his way against Georges St. Pierre on Saturday.
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Returning to the Aloha State after the worst defeat of his career, B.J. Penn, still the UFC lightweight titleholder, has much to contemplate.
Priority No. 1, according to sources in his camp, remains whether or not to lodge a formal complaint with the Nevada State Athletic Commission alleging Georges St. Pierre's corner knowingly and illegally used Vaseline on the UFC welterweight champion's body to gain an unfair advantage Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Should Penn decide to move forward and attack the integrity of St. Pierre and his camp, chances are the Hawaiian will want to fight again. That, surprisingly, is not an automatic. Though the answer seems obvious considering Penn, who is only 30, appears perfectly capable of carving himself a meaningful legacy at 155, no one close to "The Prodigy" knows for certain if he'll return.
"Before we got to Vegas we were talking," Penn's chief trainer, Rudy Valentino, said Sunday evening after returning to Hilo. With a win over St. Pierre "he wanted this to be his last fight."
Saturday morning Penn woke to a sun-drenched Sin City with plenty on his mind. Half a day away from vying to become the first mixed martial artist to hold two belts in the UFC at the same time, Penn "had come to a realization," his longtime trainer and mentor recalled.
"If I win, I win. That's the destiny of this fight," Penn told Valentino. "If I lose, it's because G.S.P. is the better man."
"This fight was a really big pressure on him, the most pressure he ever had in his whole life," Valentino said. "He just wanted to express himself when we were walking and talking."
It didn't take long against St. Pierre to realize the evening was not going to end the way Penn and his many supporters had hoped. With the champion outweighing Penn by nearly 20 pounds, St. Pierre put on a technical and tactical clinic that left the challenger battered and bloodied. For Penn's closest friends, the result was stunning. Never before had they seen him beaten in such a fashion. Even against Matt Hughes, when Penn lay exhausted taking elbow after elbow to his head, the Hawaiian didn't absorb the kind of punishment St. Pierre delivered during their 20 minutes together.