Esther Lin for MMA Fighting
Having been stopped twice by UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, Matt Hughes knows all too well the ability and talent "Rush" has to finish fights and 'wishes' he would do it more often.
It's safe to say most people have the same wish as Matt Hughes.
Georges St. Pierre is undoubtedly one of the most gifted mixed marital arts (MMA) fighters competing in the sport today. Ruling the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight division for the last five years, "Rush" has cemented himself as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
The only knock on the French-Canadian is the fact that he has been unable to finish his opponents in his previous fights. His last win inside the Octagon via technical knockout (TKO) was at UFC 94 against B.J. Penn. "The Prodigy's" corner threw in the towel at the end of the fourth round, earning "GSP" the nod.
For those who choose to not count that as a ‘finish,' we can date back to 2008 at UFC 83 when St. Pierre reclaimed his 170-pound title against Matt Serra, the last man to beat him, by forcing the stoppage with brutal knees to the body.
Georges' last four wins have gone the distance, garnering much criticism from the MMA community for his lack of ‘killer instinct' and unwillingness to go all out and look for a finish. In St. Pierre's defense, he did try to tear Dan Hardy's arm off at UFC 111, however, the British banger proved to be as tough as they come as he fended off multiple armbar attempts that would have had many tapping for dear life.
Hughes, a man who knows St. Pierre all too well having faced him three times, winning their first encounter and then being stopped twice by the champion at UFC 65 and then UFC 79, feels "Rush" has all the talent and ability in the world to finish fights and wishes he would just go out there and do it more often -- but his tendency to be 'careful' has prevented him from doing so.
His thoughts on the matter via "The MMA Hour."
"My one criticism with Georges is I wish the guy would finish more people because I know he has the ability to. He's the best guy I've ever fought. I just wish he would go out there and do that to everybody else the way he made me feel. I'm not being mean, I'm, just being very honest. The guy has so much talent, just go out there and use it all. I think he's just very careful. He doesn't want to lose, which of course nobody does, but then the more effort you put into finishing a fight the more you open yourself up. Matt Serra is a great example, he was going out there striking with him and he got caught with a punch. I think he's just a very careful person."
When asked who he felt is the greatest welterweight of all time, Hughes said:
"You would have to say either me or Georges. I guess to differentiate, it would be opinion."
When asked to choose one, he simply said:
"Well, Georges beat me twice."
St. Pierre will make his long-awaited return to action as he takes on the always dangerous Carlos Condit at UFC 154 on Nov., 17, 2012 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in what will be a title unification bout.
What's your take, do you share Matt's sentiments? Is St. Pierre too ‘careful' in his fights and not going for the finish as much as he should? Or are his opponents simply that tough to put away?