It must feel strange to be so good at one particular aspect of MMA that it overshadows everything else in your arsenal.
This seems to be the situation that Georges St-Pierre presently finds himself in.
It would be overstating things to suggest that the dominance of GSP’s wrestling has been a curse. Indeed, his uncommon ability to dictate the terms of a fight is the cornerstone of his success.
However, it has also led people to overlook his countless other attributes.
I was recently reminded of this fact when ESPN.com’s Chad Dundas, speaking on the Co-Main Event podcast, seemed utterly nonplussed by GSP’s ability to compete with Carlos Condit on the feet.
I find it bewildering that anyone would be surprised by the quality of St-Pierre’s striking, particularly if they are in any way familiar with his career prior to UFC 69.
Save for his loss to Matt Serra, I daresay the long-time welterweight king has never been found wanting on the feet. Even against high-caliber strikers like Thiago Alves and BJ Penn, he largely dominated the stand-up exchanges.
Some of this can undoubtedly be attributed to GSP’s uncanny ability to instill doubt in his opponent’s mind—the timing of his double leg is so good you could set your watch by it.
The sheer ubiquity of the threat acts as a figurative straitjacket, inhibiting the opponent to the point of handicap.
That caveat aside, St-Pierre is unquestionably one of the best strikers at 170 pounds. Freddie Roach even went so far as to call him the second-best boxer in MMA.
Then again, Roach and Georges do have a fairly close working relationship, so he may be overstating his charge’s pugilistic prowess.
A lack of long-term memory seems to be a common trait amongst sports fans.
It is no longer true to simply say that a fighter is only as good as his last fight, or that a tennis player is only as good as his last tournament.
Rather, it seems as though everything beyond the present quickly fades from memory or simply ceases to be relevant in the eyes of the fans.
As a result, Georges St-Pierre may currently be considered one of the best strikers in MMA.
If only until his next fight.