Photo from Al Bello/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
St. Pierre has faced endless amounts of criticism on the heels of his five-round 25 minute unanimous decision win, centered mostly around the fact that he seemed to struggle boxing against one of the least respected stand-up fighters in the entire sport.
However, the reasoning behind that seems to be an injury he sustained to his eye shortly into the third round.
Shields threw an open-handed strike, fingers outstretched, that grazed the French-Canadian's eye and caused blood to fill up within it, obstructing his vision.
No wonder that comically looping overhand right was missing so wide.
The good news from Zahabi (via MMAWeekly) is that the injury is not serious and should heal up, with the help of medication, in about 10 days. But Team GSP is not happy about Shields being so reckless with his punches.
"The doctors were very worried it was a detached retina because they couldn't see inside his eye. They flashed the light inside his eye and normally they're supposed to be able to see inside the eye, but the eye was filled with obstructions. The doctor was saying he couldn't see inside, so he needed to go to a specialist. Luckily it was just blood in the eye and not the detached retina. This occurred after the swipe to the face. When he threw that open handed hook, that was recorded, I complained to the ref immediately. I saw it, I completely saw it. I complained about it immediately to the referee that it was an open hand swipe to the face. I don't think it was intentional, but I mean it still happened, and he should get a warning and it should be kept in mind that he's punching with an open hand. It's not right, it's very dangerous."
While Zahabi believes the eye poke was not intentional, there are more than a few concerned parties that disagree. To see the infraction so you can judge for yourself click here.
Even with news of the injury, many fans and pundits alike refused to give St. Pierre the benefit of the doubt, panning his performance for a lack of killer instinct and a repeated want to play it safe so as to avoid any real danger.
This has become a trend recently for the welterweight kingpin, who is begin to alienate even his most loyal fans.
But is there a way to turn the tide? Of course; there always is. That might be in the form of a superfight showdown against Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz, who would love to finish the job his teammate Shields started, as soon as possible.
GSP has some mandatory time off forthcoming but that doesn't mean the match-up is an impossibility for somewhere down the road. Early fall, perhaps?
Besides, who else is left for St. Pierre to fight?