Eric Bolte-US PRESSWIRE
With his fifth straight unanimous decision win at last night's UFC 154 pay-per-view, Georges St. Pierre has now been to the judges' scorecards in 10 of his 18 wins inside the Octagon. Is it time to start asking why "Rush" hasn't been finishing fights?
"I don't have the knockout power of a 'Rampage' Jackson. I don't have the athletic ability of a Jon Jones. I don't have the accuracy of a Anderson Silva. I don't have the wrestling of a Chael Sonnen. But I use my body, the tools I have, the best that I can when I fight."
Following his win over Carlos Condit at the UFC 154 pay-per-view (PPV) event last night (Nov. 17, 2012) at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canda, it's safe to say that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre is back.
It's almost as if he never left.
That's because "Rush" won by unanimous decision. Again. That's five in a row. He was able to use his wrestling and powerful top control across the full 25 minutes to stifle his opponent's attack and neutralize his offense. Again. Anyone else get that feeling of Deja Vu?
But, let's also give credit where credit is due.
St. Pierre showed a lot of heart by returning from a devastating knee injury after an 18 month layoff to take on one of the best welterweights in all of mixed martial arts (MMA). In fact, he was looking pretty dominant during those first two rounds, aggressively punching and walking "The Natural Born Killer" into the cage.
Then, he almost got KTFO with a head kick.
From that point on, it was set up the shot, take down Condit and grind him out. Rinse and repeat. If your reaction is "Yeah, and?" then I should also inform you that St. Pierre now has 10 wins by decision against eight finishes in 18 victories under the ZUFFA banner.
UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva has two.
Everyone is feeling good right now and why not? It's a feel good moment. After a grueling kneehab that robbed him of 18 months of his career, St. Pierre has returned to the throne and the 170-pound division is back in working order. But sooner or later, we're going to have to ask the question.
Why isn't GSP finishing fights?
If you want to sell me on a "super fight" that includes the greatest striker in all of mixed martial arts (MMA), I'm going to want to make sure it's against an opponent who deserves to be there. And until I see St. Pierre putting guys away, I'm not sure that he does.
Do I think the Canadian uber-athlete can take the Brazilian down and mug him for five rounds?
Yeah, but that's not exactly what I had in mind when UFC President Dana White said "super." Maybe St. Pierre is a great striker, maybe he isn't. He can stick and move with the best of them, but something happens when he takes one on the button.
From last night's presser:
"When I had a kick to the head tonight did I have a flashback to Matt Serra? Yes ... when I got hit hard, some time before, I was a very proud guy, I try to give it back right away but the experience I gained from all my fighting, to recompose and defend myself to come back stronger. It allowed me to survive and come back from that kick that I got kicked with."
Does the champ lose his killer instinct in the face of adversity? Or simply do what it takes to win?
I'm not criticizing St. Pierre because he can't finish fights, I'm criticizing him because he can. I've seen him do it. Just ask Frank Trigg or Matt Hughes what it's like to get "Rush" on a good day at the office. We all know he can do it, but for some reason, lately, he doesn't.
Ghosts of "The Terror" -- or play-it-safe gameplan?
Carlos Condit, Jake Shields, Josh Koscheck, Dan Hardy, Thiago Alves and Jon Fitch have all been knocked out or submitted, just not by St. Pierre. I believe they could have been. I dunno, maybe my standards are kinda high, but shouldn't they be? We're talking about the best fighter in the world at 170 pounds.