Published Friday, Jan. 9, 2009 | 1:30 p.m.
Updated Friday, Jan. 9, 2009 | 2:02 p.m.
While the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s lightweight champion B.J. Penn tries to become the first fighter in the organization’s history to hold two titles at the same time with a win over welterweight champ Georges St.-Pierre, a handful of other big name fighters highlight UFC 94 set for Jan. 31, 2009 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
A pair of undefeated light heavyweights, Thiago Silva and Lyoto Machida, both 13-0, will square off with the victor likely getting the first title shot against the newly crowned Rashad Evans.
Silva, 5-0 in his UFC career including a win over Tito Ortiz, looks to utilize his karate skills and counter-striking against Silva, who has finished all his UFC opponents with either knockouts or submissions.
Former Ultimate Fighter finalists Stephan Bonnar, known for his legendary fight against former light heavyweight champ Forrest Griffin in the original finale of the UFC’s reality TV show, matches up with undefeated Jon Jones. The Rochester, N.Y. native and former junior college national wrestling champ, puts his 7-0 mixed martial arts mark on the line.
Despite coming off a loss to Thiago Alves in his last match, Karo Parisyan, a mainstay in the welterweight division, takes on undefeated Dong Hyun Kim. The Korean judo specialist is coming off back-to-back victories in his first two UFC matches over Jason Tan and Matt Brown.
After apparently settling their out-of-the Octagon issues, Jon Fitch — one of only two competitors along with Hall of Famer Royce Gracie to start their UFC careers 8-0 — faces veteran Akihiro Gono in his first test since losing to St.-Pierre. Gono (28-13-7) defeated Tamdan McCrory at UFC 78, but dropped his match against Dan Hardy at UFC 89.
Tickets for UFC 94 are on sale from $50-to-$750 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena box office, ufc.com and all Ticketmaster locations and by telephone at 800-929-1111 or 702-891-7777. The event is available live on pay-per-view at 7 p.m. PST on iN DEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN, Bell ExpressVu, Shaw Communications and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $44.95 for standard definition or high-definition broadcasts.
Other bouts include:
Clay Guida vs. Nate Diaz
Thiago Tavares vs. Manvel Gamburyan
John Howard vs. Chris Wilson
Christian Wellisch vs. Jake O'Brien
Dan Cramer vs. Matt Arroyo