Okay, I watched UFC 129 with my heart in my mouth. For some reason, I was extremely nervous for Georges St. Pierre in this fight. I'm a huge fan (as you probably already know) and i kept sensing danger from Shields. So there i was at half past four in the morning on my knees praying for GSP to demolish Jake.
After the Lyoto Machida massacre on Randy Couture, and the second head of Mark Hominick, i expected big things from the main event.
But these big things failed to materialize and Georges, once again, wrapped it up through a decision. I was happy that my champ had won. But i couldn't help feeling a hollowness inside. An empty feeling of despair and sadness. I felt angry with myself for even thinking what I am about to say.
Georges St. Pierre has lost an excitement, a lustre and an unpredictability which once made him so great.
You see, i feel terrible for saying that already. So that is why i must spend the rest of this article back-tracking and justifying why I am possessed by an unhealthy demon which forced me into declaring such an absurdity. It would appear then, that victory is not enough for Georges anymore.
He has become so great that simply winning does not cut it—not for him and not in the modern day UFC. It is how you win that counts. Machida will be remembered for how he took Couture's head off with a sublime kick. Silva will be remembered for how he did the same to Belfort. But asking yourself how Georges has won his last four fights yields the same answer: by decision.
So he's never been a knockout artist? And so he might not be able to apply that finishing touch to his submission attempts (a la Dan Hardy fight).
But either way you look at it, GSP is winning.
This leads me neatly onto my case in point. At the end of the day, Mixed Martial Arts is a sport just like any other. I mean this in the way that it is competitive and goal orientated. Who ever said sport needed to be entertaining? And, of course, what makes sport so good is the fact that it's so entertaining to watch. But i just wish that people would get off Georges St. Pierre's back for not winning the way they wanted him to.
It's okay to be disappointed with the fight for it's lack of entertainment value, but to personally attack GSP and state that he is a boring fighter with a boring game-plan is just an inadvertent way of declaring to the world that you have no respect or knowledge for the sport.
At this point i should make clear that this is not a crusade for "Save GSP" or "GSP for President," nor is it some jumped up British fan who is overtly biased towards Georges. I am a fan yes, but I speak this article as a neutral fan of MMA generally. To watch Georges implement a game-plan so precise and accurate, for me, is a pleasure. If he wants to attack his opponents' weaknesses, let him (that is called intelligent fighting for those people who say he's too scared of Shields on the ground).
To have a true appreciation for Mixed Martial Arts and for fighters like Georges St.Pierre, having an understanding or a background in some form of Martial Art/competitive competition helps. People have come to expect barbaric knockouts and broken bones in every fight they see. That's just not the case for the most part at this level.
Fighters GSP faces, like Koshcheck or Shields, are too good to be caught with a knockout (besides the fact that GSP lacks that power), and it would be very difficult to submit fighters of their caliber.
What's more is that GSP holds the Welterweight Championship, a title he has always wanted, a title he wears with pride as a true Mixed Martial Artist. So do you think he goes into the octagon worrying about how he is going to win? Rather than worrying about just winning period?
Do you think if, in soccer, Barcelona won the Champions League final through a scrappy 90th minute goal, they would be bothered? At the end of the day winning is winning. Decision victories or not, Georges St-Pierre is winning.
Before i take another double shot of my opinionated MMA juice, I would like to expand upon the pressure there is on fighters currently. The pressure to win in certain ways.
"Noo no no, you cannot win like that! Snap his arm or knock him out!"
I'm sure most fighters are going out there to do just that, but if they fail in doing so, they get hung drawn and quartered and brandished as boring. Technical fighters like GSP get it worst of all because most people don't realize his game-plans are to attack his opponents' most vulnerable areas. He makes them fight his fight the way he wants to fight.
Isn't that something which sparks the notion of an intelligent champion? A champion who is not just willing to put his belt on the line and turn into an all-guns-blazing, arm-swinging leg-flinging maniac? By thinking about his fights, analysing his opponents and implementing a game-plan which sees them ultimately neutralized is something which I personally find quite impressive and interesting. So to those blood-thirsty, bone-hungry critters out there, cut Georges St-Pierre and other technical fighters like him some slack. Because all that matters is that they are winning.
So get your pitch forks ready, ladies and gentlemen. The time has come for you to have a say.
Thank you for reading and let the war of words commence.