Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre dominated lightweight champion B.J. Penn at UFC 94 on Saturday night in Las Vegas, forcing a doctor to stop the fight before the fifth round in a marquee showdown between two of the sport’s top fighters.
The 27-year-old St. Pierre, who won a split decision when the two met at UFC 58 in March 2006, was leading heavily on all three scorecards when referee Herb Dean stopped the bout on the advice of ringside doctors. Penn’s corner agreed with the decision.
“Last time I fought him I won in a decision,” St. Pierre said. “This time I really wanted to take him out, and I’m glad I did.”
In the co-feature, Lyoto Machida knocked out Thiago Silva with a second left in the first round to win a matchup of undefeated light heavyweights.
There was no doubt what drew a cheering crowd to the MGM Grand Garden, though.
St. Pierre was all over Penn from the outset, pressing him against the fence for most of the first round and taking him down almost at will throughout the next three rounds.
UConn likely No. 1
Hasheem Thabeet recorded his first career triple-double and No. 2 Connecticut (20-1, 9-1 Big East) staked its claim to the No. 1 spot in the nation with a 94-61 blowout over Providence (14-7, 6-3) in Storrs, Conn.
The 7-foot-3 junior had 15 points, 11 rebounds and tied his own school record with 10 blocked shots.
With No. 1 Duke losing earlier in the week to No. 6 Wake Forest and No. 3 Pittsburgh falling to Villanova, UConn is expected to take the top spot in Monday’s poll.
•No. 3 Panthers down Irish: DeJuan Blair had 23 points and a career-high 22 rebounds in Pittsburgh, and the Panthers (19-2, 7-2 Big East) handed Notre Dame (12-8, 3-6) its fifth straight loss.
•Georgia Tech stuns No. 6 Wake Forest: Iman Shumpert hit a pull-up jumper with one second remaining to lift the Yellow Jackets (10-10, 1-6 ACC) to their first Atlantic Coast Conference win, a 76-74 victory over the Demon Deacons (17-2, 4-2) in Atlanta.
•No. 8 Marquette upends No. 25 Georgetown: Wesley Matthews scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half, helping Marquette (19-2, 8-0 Big East) beat the Hoyas (12-8, 3-6) 94-82 in Milwaukee.
•Kansas St. shocks No. 11 Texas in OT: Denis Clemente tied a Big 12 record with 44 points and the Wildcats (14-7, 3-4 Big 12) defeated the Longhorns (15-5, 4-2) 85-81 in overtime at Austin, Texas.
Spurs down Hornets
Tony Parker prevailed in a clash of All-Star point guards, scoring 25 points and stretching San Antonio’s division lead over Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets in a 106-93 win in San Antonio.
Paul, who scored 38, will start ahead of Parker for the Western Conference at the All-Star game in two weeks.
Manu Ginobili added 22 points, including a poster-worthy dunk over Hilton Armstrong that made the home crowd erupt.
•Roy leads Portland past Jazz: Brandon Roy scored 30 points to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to their fourth straight victory, 122-108 over the Utah Jazz in Portland.
Roy, selected as a reserve for the Western Conference All-Star team on Thursday, shot 11 for 19 from the field while reaching 30 points for the seventh time this season.
Ovechkin comes through
Alex Ovechkin broke a third-period tie with a highlight-reel goal and scored on a power play less than 2 minutes later to help the Capitals beat Detroit 4-2 in Washigton, extending the Red Wings’ losing streak to a season-high five games.
Ovechkin appeared to have overskated Viktor Kozlov’s feed along the left wing, but reached behind, put the puck through his legs and used defenseman Brian Rafalski as a shield before pushing a low shot past Ty Conklin.
•Toronto’s Kaberle out with injury: Maple Leafs All-Star defenseman Tomas Kaberle is expected to be out of the lineup for four weeks after breaking a bone in his right hand in a 7-4 win at Colorado on Thursday.
Perry on top at FBR
After erasing a four-stroke deficit in five holes, Kenny Perry wanted to be alone atop the FBR Open leaderboard.
All it took was a 33-foot putt on the 18th hole. When the putt dropped into the cup, it brought a roar from the massive TPC Scottsdale gallery and gave Perry a one-stroke lead over Scott Piercy through three rounds at Scottsdale, Ariz.
Perry shot a 5-under 66.
•Yow honored around nation: From pink whistles to pink warm-up shirts, Kay Yow was honored at women’s college basketball games around the country, the day she was laid to rest.
Yow, the longtime North Carolina State coach, died last Saturday after battling breast cancer for more than two decades. Pink is commonly used by groups that try to raise awareness of the disease.
Kansas and No. 11 Texas A&M wore pink shirts before their game at College Station, Texas, and officials at the Rutgers-South Florida, Oklahoma-Missouri, and Cincinnati-Notre Dame games all used pink whistles.