Georges St-Pierre: Judging His Legacy Post-UFC 158
The legacy of UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre continued to grow on Saturday night at UFC 158 with yet another one-sided victory, this time over perhaps the biggest "villain" he has ever fought, Nick Diaz.
Diaz's pre-fight taunts were enough to force St-Pierre out of his comfort zone and into a small bit of trash talk—something which we almost never see from the cool, calm and collected Canadian. But Diaz's in-fight taunts and numerous late hit attempts were perhaps even worse than anything that happened coming into the fight.
In the end, though, it was GSP who grounded the former Strikeforce champion with nine takedowns, landing some ferocious ground-and-pound, particularly in the first round in the process. He earned a unanimous 50-45 decision on the judges' scorecards, extending his incredible winning streak to 11 bouts, including eight title fights. He has won a unanimous decision in six straight contests.
In the process of defeating Diaz, St-Pierre also maintained his UFC record of best takedown percentage (according to FightMetric) while adding to his other records of total takedowns, total strikes landed and significant strikes landed during his UFC career.
With his 25-minute marathon against Diaz, the 170-pound champion also moved to second place all time in terms of most time spent in the Octagon. He surpassed both Randy Couture and Tito Ortiz on Saturday night and has now spent 5:03:12 inside the UFC cage. Only BJ Penn has had more time in the UFC, with a total of just 39 more seconds than St-Pierre.
After the fight, a victorious St-Pierre stood in the center of the Octagon and explained to Joe Rogan that his game plan was always to keep the fight at a kickboxing distance while not entering into Diaz's range. He did just that, out-striking Diaz in each and every round by utilizing his trademark jab.
Despite the statistics showing dominance across the board, not everyone is impressed by what GSP does in the cage. In fact, his opponent on Saturday night continued to trash talk even after the fight. In the post-fight press conference, Diaz couldn't help but express his frustration with the way he lost.
"This guy has no punching power, no offense. You're a wrestler," Diaz said to St-Pierre. "But he doesn't have punching power."
His style isn't for everyone, but as the rules are, Georges St-Pierre is by far and away the greatest welterweight mixed martial artist that the world has ever seen. His wrestling and standup combine to make him not only a prototypical fighter for the judges' scorecards, but also one that rarely puts himself in danger of being finished.
Not only that, but as an ambassador of the sport, it simply doesn't get any better than "Rush." His legacy is so prolific that, at this point, a loss wouldn't even harm it. Only a failed drug test for performance-enhancing drugs would do anything to hurt his status as the best ever...and that doesn't seem very likely.
"I’m for Olympic testing in my sport," St-Pierre said in the post-fight press conference. "I’m not a cheater; never cheated in my sport. ... I’m against TRT. I’m against all this. If you want my opinion, you can test me any time, no problem. I’m for the testing. I think it should be more regulated."
With that said, St-Pierre's legendary status remains cemented, and it doesn't appear likely that he is going to be knocked off anytime soon.
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