Should we learn to love GSP, takedowns and all?

by Chad Dundas |

Georges St-Pierre is the most dominant welterweight champion in UFC history, that fact is undeniable. St-Pierre holds a 19-2 record inside the UFC octagon and has now defended his welterweight championship ten consecutive times. The only knock people have against him is that he doesn't finish his opponents, going to decision in his last six title defenses. But should we hold that against him, or should as ESPN suggest, embrace him and love him for the pure dominance he has displayed against the best welterweights in the world?

Now that he’s pushing into his 30s, on the heels of major knee surgery and with a brand new crop of contenders breathing down his neck, perhaps it’s time we started showing GSP a little love. You know, lest one day we wake up and realize we didn’t know what we had until he was gone.

If you come to MMA looking for blood and guts, St-Pierre’s style may leave you unmoved, but you have no choice but to recognize its effectiveness. On the other hand, if you like skill, determination and strategy, you can’t help but feel a little awed. Contrary to what his detractors might say, it’s a style that embodies the very qualities that make this sport great: The diverse, nuanced action, the need for constant evolution and the idea that mental acuity is as important as physical force (also, that having both doesn’t hurt).

Later this year, when he defends his title for the ninth time against the dangerous Johny Hendricks, the American will likely be the fashionable pick to bring St-Pierre’s historic run to a screeching halt. Some people will no doubt cheer that, if it comes to pass. Please excuse the rest of us if we pull on our “Karate Kid” headbands and perform a few silent crane kicks to mourn the end of an era.

Until then, my advice to the haters? Get on the bandwagon. Drink the Kool-Aid. Learn to like St-Pierre while we still have him. Who knows, someday you might just miss him.

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What do you think UG? Should we praise GSP for his ability to dominate as much as he has, or does he deserve the criticism for not being a finisher and cruising through his title defenses with takedowns and safe game planning?

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Recent Comments »

pulsar site profile image  

3/24/13 6:52 PM by pulsar

This is correct. Danaher was known for that game many many years ago before training MMA fighters. Then you layer Jackson on top of that and voila, you have the ultimate positioning and hold down machine

Batarnaque site profile image  

3/23/13 1:00 PM by Batarnaque

As a french-canadian and huge MMA fan for at least 4 years now, I can't say I was ever a fan before last year when I actually took the time to watch his ascension to the UFC championship, which I had never seen before. Some solid finishes and a killer instinct he does seem to be lacking right now. He's alright with point fighting and avoiding damage, nobody can fault him for that, his opponents should know the recipe by now since he's been fighting the exact same way for 10 years now as a pro. Even the old youtube fights in crappy promotions show the exact same GSP he is right now.I never rewatched any of his fights, can't say I found any of them terribly exciting but the man is a living legend and it saddens me that he's better known everywhere else in the world than in his own province; that seems to be turning around, though, the mainstream media has talked about GSP for his last two fights and it looks like even those who have never watched him fight at least know who he is. His legend is building, the legacy is growing.I embrace the true martial artist that he embodies but, last weekend I found myself almost wishing a loss because I do think it would be good for his career (if only for the fact that we'd see more of him, he's been an extremely inactive champion) but whatever, he's an excellent fighter with a complete skill set that nobody has been able to crack for several years now.I'm also celebrating him because it's crystal clear the man has no plans to fight beyond 35 years old, I think his end game is beating 3 or 4 legit contenders then moving on to the final stage of his legacy... Anderson, then retirement, win or lose. Watching interviews in his native tongue is twice as revealing as anything I've ever watched in english. It also cracks me up that he's never gotten any better at english since 2005, I'd give him a hard time about that shit if I trained at TriStar!

crumbs site profile image  

3/22/13 7:46 PM by crumbs

His fight w Diaz was the least exciting ever, was he sick? It adds up if you thInk about how dominate his take down game has been previous. Was nick that much better than Fitch/kos at TD? Unlikely .I think it's a lil. Premature to say he's going be less exciting now.His fights with fitch/Serra/BJ/alves/hardy/kos/condit we're exciting displays of MMA, he's had a few duds, but I can live with them. Even Kobe has bad days.

Jaybrone site profile image  

3/22/13 12:39 PM by Jaybrone

This. I understand that people don't appreciate how dominate he is and yet can't finish fighters. But often he is fighting guys who have gone into a pure defensive position by the end of the first round but it is understandable that he gets some heat for it.

Mark Bocek site profile image  

3/22/13 10:54 AM by Mark Bocek

I see what your saying bit that has been my opinion for a while...

UGCTT_FryedTakayama site profile image  

3/22/13 10:24 AM by UGCTT_FryedTakayama

Good post Mark but we all know you might be a little biased ;)

Mark Bocek site profile image  

3/22/13 10:11 AM by Mark Bocek

GSP is the best and most complete fighter in the game, deal with it. If your a hater your not really a fan of Mma, just a fan of slugfests, that is not what Mma is really about. Once you stop taking your strengths to your opponents weaknesses, you are no longer an intelligent Mma fighter. Just my opinion...

BengalWACO site profile image  

3/22/13 10:07 AM by BengalWACO

Love him. Don't like watching his fights.

Kneeblock site profile image  

3/22/13 10:03 AM by Kneeblock

I posted this on another thread, but will re-post here:I think a lot of people are misunderstanding what GSP is doing in the cage. A lot of it is rooted in the Renzo Gracie style of BJJ, particularly that trained by John Danaher, who has had a huge influence on the way Georges fights. Renzo's BJJ, which is reflective of.the Gracie Barra way, focuses on really consolidating your position and then deploying your attack. Not as much attacking on transition. Though I do think that's changed in accordance with the rest of modern BJJ. But their MMA strategy has also always been get position then dominate. It can come across as a bullying style. Combine that with Georges' general respect for his opponents abilities and you have what looks like a boring style, but is actually a very disciplined tactical style. There's also the influence of Greg Jackson on GSP who stresses a similar ethos of waiting until the moment is right.