Georges St-Pierre's dominance inside the UFC Octagon is unrivaled by his welterweight peers.
A fine-tuned machine inside the cage, GSP has obliterated challenger after challenger during his lengthy stint as 170-pound king. He presents an impossibly difficult task for his foes with crisp, accurate stand-up and world-class grappling skills.
GSP's career record is 23-2, but even that record only conveys part of his dominance. To watch GSP dismantle his foes is a thing of beauty, and he has turned in some absolutely spectacular performances inside the Octagon.
To honor these exceptional performances, start the slideshow to see GSP's top 10 career fights.
Note: The list aims to examine only his UFC run, so any fights outside the Octagon were not considered for the list. Fights were chosen based on a combination of fightmetric statistics, fight significance and overall dominance during the fight.
When discussing a fighter's "top" performances, a loss should not leap to mind.
That said, if any fighter ever learned something from a loss, it was GSP.
Sure, the knockout defeat at the piston-like hands of Matt Serra at UFC 69 tainted GSP's legacy a bit, but it also gave the young Canadian an opportunity for reflection and for improvement.
Boy, did GSP ever improve.
Since that loss, GSP morphed from a skilled and athletic fighter into a tactical, calculated fighting robot that has frustrated and thwarted all comers in the welterweight division.
Since losing to Serra, GSP adopted a wrestle-first, always-play-to-your-opponent's-weaknesses strategy that has seen him recapture the welterweight title and rattle off 10 straight victories.
Not bad, eh?
Now, on to the victories.
Young fans of mixed martial arts and the UFC in general may be shocked to learn that GSP was once feared as an aggressive, powerful striker.
A black belt in multiple karate disciplines, GSP's stand-up is no joke, and he put his striking skills to use early in his career.
In his second UFC fight against Jay Hieron, GSP overwhelmed his foe with a variety of strikes in Round 1, earning a stoppage just 1:42 into the fight.
If fans and critics were not already aware of GSP's talents, they were now.
A beast was born at UFC 54.
Going into this fight, both GSP and Frank Trigg had recently lost to then-champion Matt Hughes, and this bout was arranged to prove who belonged in title contention and who needed to hit the gym and beef up his game.
The result could not have been more clear.
Trigg landed just one significant strike during the brief, four-minute fight, and GSP completely owned "Twinkle Toes" in all facets of the game.
The only thing keeping this fight from a higher spot on the list is the fact that it did not involve the championship strap, nor did it directly lead to a title shot.
Still, GSP looked phenomenal in this fight, and the display of dominance shall not be soon forgotten.
P.S. Follow that link for the free full-fight video.
UFC 100's stacked card featured two championship fights and a matchup between The Ultimate Fighter coaches Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping.
Needless to say, the event was huge.
While most of the card delivered and met expectations, GSP's fight against Thiago Alves was decidedly...meh.
Granted, GSP injured his groin in the fight and still took home a clear unanimous-decision victory, but he never looked overwhelmingly fantastic, and the result was a little disappointing since he was coming off a perfect performance against BJ Penn at UFC 94.
With exceptional wrestling and ground control, GSP took this fight easily, but it certainly does not provide a case study in exciting UFC action.
On paper, Dan Hardy possessed a "puncher's chance" against GSP at UFC 111.
In practice, the British fighter had even less than that, as GSP pinned Hardy to the canvas and kept him there for the bout's duration.
GSP put Hardy on his back time after time, landing all 11 of his takedown attempts and passing the Brit's guard a remarkable 26 times.
In addition, the champion attempted six submissions but failed to finish any of them.
On one hand, I feel this performance is actually a disgrace to GSP. He had one of the worst ground practitioners in the UFC on his back for 25 minutes and could not find the finish.
Shame on him.
Eventually, though, logic kicks in and I realize that what GSP accomplished was extraordinary nonetheless.
Often considered the most intricate and difficult aspect of the sport, GSP put forth a display of grappling near perfection for all to enjoy.
Georgie is more than just takedowns and a smothering top game, eh, Mr. Koscheck?
While GSP's UFC 124 encounter with Josh Koscheck was not the most thrilling fight in the sport's history, it perfectly exemplified GSP's brilliance.
Going into the fight, GSP had won his last seven contests, most of which came by way of unanimous decision thanks to the Canadian's extraordinary ground control. Against the former Division I wrestling national champion Koscheck, GSP elected to mostly abandon his ground game in favor of a technical standup battle.
Utilizing a textbook jab, GSP kept Koscheck at bay and brutalized his right eye during the fight.
Koscheck had no answers, and this fight stands as one of GSP's finest performances to date.
It wasn't flashy, but it proved that GSP is much, much more than just a wrestler inside the Octagon.
Like The Wu-Tang Clan before him, GSP proved that he ain't nothing to **** with against Matt Serra at UFC 83.
Serra stood as the man that most recently defeated the young phenom. This was the guy that blistered GSP's impeccable mug with ferocious punches, the man who stripped "Rush" of his coveted welterweight title.
This was not, however, the man to do so again—GSP made that much perfectly clear.
Needing just two rounds to finish his work, GSP took Serra down at will and blasted "The Terror's" body with knees from top position.
The finish was gnarly, and it proved to the world that GSP was back...for good.
After a 19-month layoff that saw GSP undergo knee surgery and receive copious amounts of criticism, many fans and critics alike wondered what to expect from the champion's Octagon return against Carlos Condit at UFC 154.
With a well-rounded skill set and explosive finishing power both standing and on the ground, Condit figured to provide a stern test for the champion.
Could this finally be the day GSP met an unfortunate end?
GSP's performance against Condit at this event showcased yet another "business-as-usual" performance from "Rush," but Condit's resilience and capability everywhere the fight went made this affair incredibly entertaining.
While the numbers show a clear-cut decision victory for GSP, statistics can make no mention of just how important this fight was for GSP's career.
His "devastating" injury proved to be of no concern, and even an extended layoff could not slow him down inside the cage.
With this fight, GSP stamped a warning to the rest of the welterweight division in Mr. Condit's blood.
"I'm still here, and I'm not going anywhere," it read.
Of all the fights GSP won via decision during his career, his UFC 87 performance against Jon Fitch stands as the most impressive.
Featuring a couple 10-8 rounds and complete domination in all facets of the game, GSP vs. Fitch remains the textbook example of a "GSP performance."
This fight epitomized everything that makes GSP special.
From grappling superiority to pinpoint striking to stellar defense in all areas, GSP was never in danger in this fight, and he consistently put Fitch on his back with both punches and quick takedowns.
When GSP needed to strike, he struck with accuracy and power, and when he needed to grapple, he overwhelmed Fitch with his strength, speed and technical proficiency.
Maybe GSP did not find the finish in this one, but Fitch is notoriously difficult to put away, and GSP made full use of his time in the Octagon by dismantling his foe from beginning to end.
Who can defeat Georges St-Pierre?
After the champion's ridiculous performance against Jon Fitch at UFC 87, many fans and critics alike were stumped when faced with this question.
The man to beat GSP would have to be well-rounded for sure, but he should probably be more ground oriented in his attack. His bottom game needs to be superb, and exceptional takedown defense is a must. In addition, this man needs to have the power standing to clip GSP and end the fight early.
Does this sound exactly like B.J. Penn?
While Penn definitely possessed these qualities, even the fantasy "perfect matchup" for GSP proved worthless when the two entered the Octagon.
The Hawaiian Penn actually fought off all three of GSP's takedown attempts in Round 1, but that is as good as it got for "The Prodigy" on this night.
From Round 2 until the bout's conclusion between Rounds 4 and 5, Penn landed just four significant strikes and succumbed to all four of GSP's takedown attempts. GSP crushed Penn with his ground-and-pound, and "The Prodigy" had no answers.
Summarizing just how brutally GSP treated Penn in this fight, the challenger's corner threw in the towel just before the start of Round 5.
If you make somebody quit of their own accord during the biggest fight of their life, you are doing something very right.
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.