Matt Hughes brings out the best in Georges St-Pierre.
After smearing GSP's unblemished record at UFC 50 via Round 1 armbar, Hughes carried an undeniable swagger into his rematch against the Canadian standout.
GSP admitted that he was in awe of Hughes when the two fought at UFC 50, and he could not quite get over the mental hump that was his adoration of the longtime 170-pound champion.
That all changed at UFC 65.
Hughes vs. GSP II was not even close. St-Pierre crushed Hughes with a wide array of strikes, halting action in Round 2 with a vicious head kick and some follow-up ground and pound. GSP's striking had never looked crisper and more powerful, and "Rush" finally captured UFC gold with the victory.
Things were not all syrup and hockey sticks for GSP after this victory, though.
Matt Serra, as mentioned in the honorable mention slide, snatched the UFC strap from GSP's grasp at UFC 69, and St-Pierre was forced into a trilogy match with Hughes at UFC 79 for the interim championship.
If Hughes had made improvements in his game since their second encounter, they did not show...at all.
This fight was arguably the most important of GSP's career at that point, and he passed the test with flying colors.
"Rush" previously looked poised for a long run as 170-pound champ after defeating Hughes at UFC 65 but immediately cracked his crown against Serra. How would he bounce back?
After a buffer matchup against Josh Koscheck, GSP proved at UFC 79 he could rebound in the grandest of ways, and he smashed Hughes before snagging a second-round armbar, capturing the interim welterweight title in the process.
In a fight that would serve to define his future, GSP cruised through Hughes and solidified the fact that he was ready to reclaim the welterweight title.
He did just that against Matt Serra at UFC 83, and methinks he will carry that honor with him until he voluntarily gives it up before drifting into a cozy retirement.
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