Georges St-Pierre: 10 Reasons He Really Is Overrated
Current UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre has been at or near the top of the 170-pound division for nearly eight years now.
Though currently shelved with a knee injury, he is still held in very high regard, ranking among the top three MMA fighters pound-for-pound on nearly every expert and fans board.
However, with time in the spotlight also comes the glow of becoming overrated, which has become the case for GSP.
From his current poster boy campaign to where he trains down to who he does and doesn't fight, GSP has become an overrated MMA star at the tender age of 30.
The pride of Saint-Isidore, Quebec, Canada has benefited from many things inside and out his control to make him such a huge star.
Over these next 10 slides, we will examine 10 reasons why Georges St. Pierre is overrated.
Reason 10: Gatorade Poster Boy
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With a huge push from the sports drink giant, fans have started to see GSP not just in the Octagon, but on their TV sets as one of the faces of Gatorade. '
After MMA started to become mainstream, Gatorade made a push to grab one of the top fighters to add to their already illustrious group of pro athletes, choosing Georges St. Pierre because of his athletic build and ability to speak English.
Always a great company man, GSP has been placed on a pedestal with the rest of the greats that have been sponsored by Gatorade, such as Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Derek Jeter. Even more significant is that he is the face of the drink giant in his native Canada, growing his legend even more.
However, he has yet to reach unanimous status as the No. 1 athlete in his sport, making his place with other Gatorade greats a bit premature.
Reason 9: He Is Slowing Down
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Even though he is just 30 years old, St. Pierre's recent fights and activity has shown that he is on the downside of his career.
Since the 2008 calendar year began he has competed two times or less in the Octagon every year including just once in 2011, with the prospects of fighting more than once in 2012 looking very dim.
With a 16-month layoff between fight almost a certainty, his lack of fights means that his weaknesses and flaws are not being examined or exploited by fighters.
As time passes, fans of GSP and MMA become nostalgic of his past success and victories, making him seem bigger than he is.
People remember Tito Ortiz as a great ground-and-pound champion, yet when you look at his reign on top, you realize it is more hollow than anything. Tito and GSP also have another thing in common and that is reason No. 8...
Reason 8: People Don't See He Is a One-Trick Pony
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In a sport that is evolving by the minute, GSP has been slow to adapt and has seemed to hit a wall in his evolution. Once a revolutionary fighter with striking and wrestling skills to defeat the greats of their time, he is now stuck with other fighters passing him by.
Because he is beating the men in front of him, people are unable to see the big picture and that the pack has caught up to GSP and possibly even passed him.
With a 12-second loss to who many people who say is a "poor man's version" of GSP, Jon Fitch, people are starting to wonder if the old guard is getting passed by.
GSP has yet to prove that he has evolved back into a finisher like he was in his early years and not just a fighter good enough to find a flaw and focus solely on that.
To be a great fighter, an all-time champion like he is being touted as, he needs to show he can finish men who are not his equals.
St. Pierre, though, is only as strong as the next reason which, for all his loyalty, may be holding him back.
Reason 7: His Training Camps
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As the mastermind behind so many great fighters, Greg Jackson is one of the top trainers and strategists in MMA.
His stable of current and former UFC Champions is a long list of great fighters, with GSP ranking at the top of his success. However, for all the success comes scrutiny, which seems to be deflected his way after each GSP decision.
It seems like that because of his status as chief strategist, Jackson is getting the blame for the way St. Pierre fights, with many saying GSP just follows coach's orders.
To me, that makes no sense, with that being equal to Aaron Rodgers throwing nothing but check down passes because Mike McCarthy told him to "take care of the ball" and McCarthy getting the blame.
Yes there is risk going outside and throwing a deep pass or trying to advance to get a submission but it is a worthy risk. GSP needs to become responsible for the way he fights, and fans need to stop blaming Greg Jackson for all the decisions.
Jackson, however, cannot be blamed for the next reason, though he could have a bit to do with it.
Reason 6: His Super-Clean, Fan-Friendly Personality
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Look at that photo. How can you not like or root for that guy? Much like Tim Tebow in the NFL, though supremely more talented than the former Heisman winner, GSP seems to get all the brownie points.
His fan-friendly style and personality lead to people overlooking his flaws and giving him the benefit of the doubt. That has led to the rose-colored glasses everyone puts on when they mention GSP.
While his sincere and super-nice personality is not a downfall as a person or professional, it does led to his fans believing his is better than what he truly is.
It has become hard to criticize the champion because he is such a great guy and when you do say a bad word of him, you are looked like you are kicking a puppy (I'd never do that).
Take off your rose-colored glasses, because without them, you will be able to see my reason No. 5.
Reason 5: His Record Is Becoming Thinner by the Week
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4-7-1. That is the welterweight record of Georges St. Pierre's last five opponents after they have fought him. Over his entire current title run, the record is 15-15-2, with five of those wins coming from a single fighter (Jon Fitch).
By comparison, Anderson Silva's last five title opponents have combined to be 7-2.
The champion has beaten just two fighters in their 20s during his run with both Thiago Alves and Dan Hardy being very flawed opponents. Missing from his record is a win over a true all-round up-and-comer, with his wins over Koscheck, Shields and Fitch being his only wins over current top ten opponents.
To his credit he has beaten everyone put in front of him, though it has been far from a gauntlet. Making things worse, three of the last five fighters GSP beat by decision have been finished in resounding fashion by knockout at the hands of a "lesser" opponent.
The length of his record is the next reason GSP is an overrated fighter.
Reason 4: His Longevity in the UFC Makes Him Seem Greater
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When athletes are associated with a sport for a long time, people tend to grow their feelings for them and their successes rather than bring them down. Less than 30 days from the eight-year anniversary of his first UFC fight, GSP has been around the sport and the organization what seems like forever.
With that longevity comes even rosier-colored glass with people associating the length of his record with his all-time status. However, for every Mariano Rivera, there is also a Darren Oliver.
Though GSP will deservedly be considered one of the great champions of all-time, we must realize that MMA is a sport expanding by the minute. GSP will soon fall the way of other great champions like Fedor, Chuck and Hughes because the sport will pass him as he will be unable to keep up.
The UFC is not like baseball or basketball where the skills needed to succeed don't change as quickly, rather it is more like the ever changing college football landscape only quicker.
The length of his success, though a factor, is not the most important factor in how he currently ranks as a fighter. Rather, that would be his skills and recent success, with both showing signs of having holes in them.
However, when the welterweight division passes him by, it will explain the third reason he is overrated.
Reason 3: We Love to Promote 'The Passing of the Torch'
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Sports have always involved the act of "passing the torch" and the overrating of the "next guy." Guys like Brian Griese who followed John Elway and everyone that has followed Jordan have proven to be overrated because they were just expected to fill the space left by the former greatness.
That is even more true in combat sports, where whoever beats the long-time champ is immediately anointed then next all-time great.
Most recently in MMA we have had the "Machida Era" and the "Shogun Era" among the light-heavyweights trying to fill "The Iceman" Chuck Liddell's shoes.
With early fans of the UFC seeing dominant champion Matt Hughes, who was one fight away from fighting Anderson Silva, fall to an up-and-comer, people immediately passed Hughes' torch of greatness to GSP.
The problem is, St. Pierre isn't just building his own legacy, he is building his legacy on top of all the credits Hughes earned, making him grow even taller than any other fighter in the world.
BJ Penn said it best before his trilogy against Matt Hughes: "If I win, I get all his wins, and if I lose, he gets all mine." That is just how combat sports go.
GSP's most asked-about non-opponent is reason number two.
Reason 2: Anderson Silva
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Every great champion needs a rival, someone who people see as his greatest competition and/or his equal. Since his reign of terror began, Anderson Silva has been associated with Georges St. Pierre because they are great champions who could possibly fight one day.
Most rivalries have a better side that elevates the status of the slightly weaker opponent, with Silva bringing up GSP in this case.
Silva's record is not flawless, no fighter's is, but he has the fewest holes in his resume of any current champion. Of the top ten middleweights in the world, the only men hasn't fought are Mark Munoz, Brian Stann and Michael Bisping, with only Bisping having been close to earning a title shot.
More importantly, "The Spider" has finished every fighter he has faced during his run as champion except Demian Maia and Thales Leites, though neither posed any true threat.
With Silva's status as one of the top two pound-for-pound best fighters in the world to go along with people trying to figure out who could beat him, GSP and his stout wrestling game is a perfect matching opponent.
So as Silva rises, so has GSP by association until recently when people have found Silva a new, true challenger: Jon Jones. The UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion has something in common with his training partner GSP when it comes to the biggest reason the 170-pounder is overrated.
Reason 1: The UFC Needs GSP to Be a Success
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As one of their biggest international stars to build on, the UFC has been behind the propping and pushing of GSP since he took the strap from Hughes at UFC 65.
The organization needs for St. Pierre to be a huge, successful champion because he is not only one of their biggest PPV draws, but also because he is known worldwide.
Consider this: Michael Bisping, a man who has never fought for the title and only once fought in a "number one contender" fight in his 15 career UFC fights, has been a feature bout (either a main event, co-main event and/or fight on the poster) in all but three of his fights.
Why does he get all this run? Well besides the fact that he is a good, sometimes exciting fighter, he is the face of the UFC in England, a place where the UFC does good business. It is very valuable to them to have Bisping be shown as a star because it will then expand and grow not only the English market, but the entire Euro zone.
With St. Pierre, you have a man that was the three-time Canadian Athlete of the Year, beating out the stars of the nation's favorite sport: hockey. The UFC has invested much stock and effort into raising the champion's profile, meaning that some of what he is built on may not be 100 percent stable.
By taking a good hard, objective look at Georges St. Pierre's full resume, you come to realize that despite being a great and honorable true champion, he is not all that he's built up to be. Simply stated, GSP is overrated.