In a matter of a few moments last night, Brock Lesnar became the most hated man in the UFC and likely all of mixed martial arts. No matter what one's personal feelings are on Lesnar's antics, most will agree that he went too far with things he said last night, and it left a sour taste in everyone's mouths on what was an otherwise amazing night of fights.
Lesnar isn't for everyone, but there is nothing wrong with that. Almost every fighter to ever enter the Octagon will have fans that adore him, while other fans will simply dislike the same fighter for any number of reasons.
Lost in all the theatrics of Lesnar was a performance worthy of immediate induction into the UFC Hall of Fame. A real-life masterpiece not only inside the Octagon but outside as well that displayed the very essence of what the sport is all about.
It not only takes a special fighter to unite everyone's feelings in a positive way, but a special human being as well. Georges St. Pierre has transformed into that rare breed of athlete that is admired for both his athletic ability and the way he handles himself away from the arena.
While most thought St. Pierre would defeat Thiago Alves at UFC 100, no one thought GSP would dominate Alves so thoroughly, so that he looked like an amateur compared to St. Pierre.
After the fight, St. Pierre's performance took on legendary status. He revealed in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan that he severely injured his groin during the third round when Alves was on top of him.
St. Pierre refused to let an injury dictate his fate and instead, he took control of his own destiny and continued to dominate Alves. St. Pierre won every round in convincing fashion and easily took the unanimous decision. In a great show of class and respect, Alves raised St. Pierre's arm in victory immediately after the final horn.
In what has become typical St. Pierre humility, he spoke after the fight how the welterweight division is "stacked" with contenders, and he would need to assess all his options in the coming weeks.
With respect to what St. Pierre said, I don't consider Mike Swick or Martin Kampmann legitimate title contenders. They are nice fighters but no where near the caliber of St. Pierre. If he tore apart Alves the way he did, imagine what he would do to the winner of Swick-Kampmann.
St. Pierre's next challenge may lie in literally "stepping up" the competition. Both St. Pierre and Dana White hinted at a change in weight classes but that would take significant time, up to a year, to properly train and make the weight gain in a healthy and competitive manner.
Anderson Silva may serve as the ultimate goal in the next phase of St. Pierre's career. I don't see a permanent switch to the middleweight division, but a bout with Silva could be the biggest fight in the history of the sport. It would finally settle the argument of who is the true pound-for-pound best fighter in the world.
Saturday night saw the continuation of what has become one of the most dominant eras that mixed martial arts has ever seen. Luckily for everyone involved, the end seems nowhere in sight for St. Pierre.
In a sport filled with egos and self-promotion, St. Pierre stands alone as example of the discipline, honor, and respect that is taught to all that partake in mixed martial arts. He deserves to be cheered for the talent he shows during his fights, and revered for the honor he brings to himself and his sport.
Georges St. Pierre is a mixed martial artist in every aspect of the name, but his very best may be yet to come. In that case, everyone will have become just a little bit better individually for the opportunity to see a modern-day warrior at work.