Not even an injured abductor ligament could interrupt welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre's riddum last night against Thiago Alves at UFC 100 from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
"Rush" revealed after the fight that he pulled his groin at some point during the third round of his five-round championship fight against the division's number one contender. It didn't seem to hamper his impressive performance, however -- St. Pierre cruised to yet another dominating win over a very tough challenger.
He once again made it look effortless, which is scary considering the level of competition he has been up against recently. He was never in danger against Alves -- a heavy-handed Muay Thai striker who also has some of the most powerful kicks in the game.
The Canadian kept his distance, used his reach advantage and then timed his takedowns perfectly throughout the 25 minutes. Alves didn't have many answers, thwarting perhaps two of the more than 10 attempts from St. Pierre.
That's not a good ratio for him.
St. Pierre was then able to basically hold Alves down and beat him up. And when Alves did get to his feet St. Pierre would just take him down again. Repeat.
The win over Alves marked the third lopsided successful title defense for St. Pierre since he reclaimed his belt from Matt Serra with a second round technical knockout at UFC 83: "Serra vs. St. Pierre 2" back in April 2008. First he dominated Jon Fitch, then he smashed BJ Penn and now he schooled Alves. And in each of those contests he sustained little to no damage.
So now what -- who is talented and skilled enough at 170 pounds to really give St. Pierre a run for his money? He's essentially cleaned out the division. UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, when asked, informed ringside announcer Joe Rogan last night that the winner of the bout between Mike Swick and Martin Kampmann at UFC 103 in Dallas, Texas, on Sept. 19.
That's a nice idea -- both fighters have performed very well recently and the winner would have more than earned his shot at the crown. But will either Swick or Kampmann be able to do what Alves, Penn, Fitch, Hughes, Serra and the rest of the top players that St. Pierre has left in the dust have not?
It's unlikely, but possible nonetheless.
UFC President Dana White did not sound as certain about St. Pierre's future, saying he had "no clue" what was next for the Canadian. He hinted that Fitch -- who has strung together back-to-back wins since losing to St. Pierre in August 2008 -- was still in the running for a rematch, but things are still up in the air.
Of course, a superfight between St. Pierre and UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva -- arguably the two best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet -- is possible. It's a hot-button topic that has been discussed for years and picked up some serious heat last night.
St. Pierre needs to first get healthy. Silva needs to also take care of business against Forrest Griffin in a 205-pound contest at UFC 101 on Aug. 8. He hasn't defended his 185-pound crown since April of this year and will more than likely only get one more opportunity to do so before the 2009 fight campaign comes to a close.
Will it be against St. Pierre? Or, will other contenders such as Nate Marquardt/Demian Maia and Dan Henderson fill-in until "Rush" is fit, and as he puts it, has time to "get bigger" for the move north. The logical next step is to have St. Pierre and Silva defend their respective belts at least one more time before finally colliding.
Then again, with both fighters seemingly unstoppable and at the top of their games, perhaps White and Co. will throw logic out the window (like they sometimes do) and book St. Pierre vs. Silva for a super showdown of epic proportions while the timing is perfect.
What say you, Maniacs?