Should we learn to love GSP, takedowns and all?
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.
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?