Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight titleholder Georges "Rush" St. Pierre won a split decision over B.J. Penn at UFC 58 on March 4, 2006 in a non-title fight. The rematch is set for Jan. 31 and St. Pierre wants to solidify his name as a legend in the sport of mixed martial arts with another win over Penn.
Both are current UFC champions ranked No.1 in their weight classes. Each are considered amongst the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world. They're in their primes. This is a mega-fight.
"He's the guy that I want to fight. He's my best challenge right now, and he's the guy that I want to fight," St. Pierre told MMAWeekly.com recently. "I have to fight guys like B.J. to make myself a legend in this sport.
"When you're a world champion you have to set your goal even higher. I don't want to fight to be champion anymore because I'm already champion. I want to fight to become a legend in the sport, and that's what this fight will give me," the Canadian added. "I think if you ask somebody who's the best pound-for-pound in the world, a lot of people would say it's B.J. Penn. So, for me, it's a great challenge as well."
In the thirty-two months since their first encounter, the two have improved and are different fighters with different attributes. "He has improved a lot. I have improved a lot," said St. Pierre. "So, it's going to be a clash."
Asked what's different this time heading into a bout with Penn, St. Pierre stated, "Every fight is always a problem. B.J. Penn is a big problem, but I think that I'm going to be able to solve it.
"I'm more experienced and way more skilled than I used to be," added the UFC welterweight champion.