Georges St. Pierre retained his welterweight championship over Jake Shields at UFC 129 last night, April 30, 2011, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. But he did so without showing a trait he's long since seemingly lost ... his killer instinct.
When St. Pierre landed a perfectly placed head kick that dropped his opponent to the mat, the French-Canadian did not pounce. He did not swarm his opponent with brutal ground and pound to put an end to the title fight.
Instead of attempting to finish Shields, something he hasn't done to an opponent in over two years, he allowed the American to recover.
Where has St. Pierre's killer instinct gone?
The fighter we now have goes 25 minutes with Dan Hardy and is bloodied up in stand-up exchanges with Jake Shields.
And this is one of the greatest fighters on Earth?
Dan Hardy is an excellent fighter. You don't get to the top of the mixed martial arts world not being one (Kimbo Slice excluded). But he is nowhere near the level of St. Pierre. It seemed like their fight was an overglorified grappling session for the champion.
His fight with Josh Koscheck? A sparring session where GSP got to show off his new toy, the jab.
And when fighting Shields, who has impossibly bad stand-up, he was unable to pull the trigger, despite knocking him down several times.
The French-Canadian seems to apologize after every fight now. It's getting old. His performances are as dull as they are dominant. It's not a matter of his not being adequately challenged; it's a matter of his not wanting to place himself in any kind of danger.
Let's face it: when you have an opponent hurt and you move to finish, your defenses are slightly compromised. St. Pierre has realized this and adjusted accordingly.
He just doesn't go for the finish.
The fighters that go down in history as the best are those that inspire. They're the kind that provide moments that are instantly etched into your brain, never to be forgotten. They draw you in and make you care.
Georges St. Pierre doesn't do that ... at least not anymore.
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