White: St. Pierre's not there yet
UFC President Dana White said Georges St. Pierre isn't the pound-for-pound best
If he hadn't lost to Matt Serra, GSP would be "neck and neck" with Anderson Silva
The prez also said Penn probably won't move up in weight in the near future
With UFC 94 already in the books as another gate-buster, UFC President Dana White had every reason to be thrilled at the post-fight press conference. Exhaustion was his latest opponent.
"We've done like five fights in the last month," he said. "After you get done with a week like this ... you just try to get through it. I'll be back in mode again on Monday."
Apart from his staffers' projections, he knew the fight would be successful after talking with other UFC fighters.
"This was a big fight because of who B.J. Penn is, and because of who Georges St. Pierre is," White said. "They're both very well respected by the fans, by other fighters. This was a big fight. You can gauge how big a fight is and how exciting it is by how many fighters are pumped up to see a fight. And every one of them couldn't wait to see this fight tonight."
The Primetime special featuring Penn and St. Pierre proved to be a wise investment for the promotion, mirroring the success of HBO's 24/7 as a vehicle to generate interest in a fight. Its $1.7 million price tag will reserve it for three big fights a year, according to White, but it will stay in the UFC's promoting arsenal.
"It was a good experience," he said. "Obviously, me and B.J. got into a big fight during the show, but other than that, it was good."
St. Pierre's victory over Penn did much to cement his legacy as one of the greatest fighters in the game today. Another super fight opportunity lingers with Anderson Silva, but White says the French Canadian still has some work to do before he takes the spot of the pound-for-pound best.
"I still wouldn't call him pound for pound the best in the world, but he's No. 2, no doubt about it," White said. "Georges takes out Thiago Alves? He's on his way. I would say Georges St. Pierre would be neck and neck with Anderson had he not lost to Matt Serra."
Penn was shuttled to a local hospital after the fight and was unable to attend the press conference. He will soon defend his lightweight title for the second time, against Kenny Florian. White said it was unlikely Penn would move up in weight again in the near future.
"I don't think I'll have to encourage him to do that," he said.
But he stressed that size wasn't at the root of Penn's defeat. The Hawaiian was simply outgunned.
"Georges beat him tonight, period."
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