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December 21, 2014

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In UFC, as in life, it’s all about the fear

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Sam Morris

A dazed B.J. Penn tries to fend off Georges St. Pierre in the fourth round of their welterweight title bout at UFC 94 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Georges Silences Penn

Georges St-Pierre gives new meaning to GSP, defeating B.J. Penn by TKO Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

I’m not at all a UFC expert, and to be honest before tonight I wouldn’t have known Georges St-Pierre if he were doling out hootchie-mama pamphlets on the Strip. But I do know something about THC (The Human Condition), and BJ Penn was whipped like Madonna’s first boyfriend the second he walked into the ring. The moment the MGM Grand Garden Arena’s big screen showed Penn’s face, a mix of utter perplexity and, “Look out! It's a falling safe!” I was thinking, dang if I’m too far from a sports book to shred my next paycheck on this outcome.

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Blood pours from the nose of B.J. Penn in the third round of his welterweight title bout against champion Georges St. Pierre at UFC 94 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

I mean, BJ, there is a time and place for everything, including passive resistance. The guy spent so much time crawling around the canvas, I thought he’d entered a Twister marathon. And who walks into the biggest fight of his life looking not like a world-class fighter, but the man to beat in the belly-flop competition at the county fair?

OK. I’m taking far too much journalistic license. I’ll stop now. But I am looking forward to St.-Pierre’s next bout, which I am told will match him against a fighter.

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More Mono: After tonight, I’m staying off the Monorail for a while. I mean, in a literal sense. I’ll probably keep riding it. Maybe I’ll lease it as my next Casa De Johnny (“Over here is the spare bedroom/living room/dining area, which is where my guests stay until we reach the Imperial Palace.”) The trip back, from the MGM Grand to Sahara, where I am now, was a breeze. I hopped on the train at 10 p.m., and was back at the Sahara at 10:30. At the moment I'm at the little coffee shop, and off in the distance in the old Casbar Lounge a classic rock band is playing a cover of Ozzy Osbourne's “Crazy Train.”

I swear, I get off the Monorail, and they are playing “Crazy Train.” It’s a magic night at the Sahara.

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At 4:30 p.m., the line at the Las Vegas SuperBook stretched beyond the buffet. In other words, it was really long, even for the day before the Super Bowl. I can vouch for this because I was in that line (I’m rooting for the redbirds to score last, among other odd wagers), and for the sake of Ira David Sternberg, can we open all eight windows during peak times. Like, the Super Bowl? Six doesn’t cut it. Well, it does, but it takes longer to cut.

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The folks hawking vintage jerseys near the Hilton's Tempo Lounge are selling an old Lance Alworth replica jersey for $500, and if you can afford that item, it's God's way of telling you that you have too much money.

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