Is Georges St-Pierre the Floyd Mayweather Jr. of MMA?
After his title bout against Jake Shields at UFC 129, all the fans once again saw the "safety first" side of George St-Pierre.
While St-Pierre did make a somewhat concerted effort to get Shields out of there with some loopy right hands, we didn't see that killer instinct that propelled him to the top of the welterweight rankings.
Over the years, his style has transformed to another not unlike another "safety first" style fighter in the combat world—The Ring Magazine No. 2 ranked pound-for-pound boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Here are some comparisons, and you can form your own conclusion.
5. Jab Your Way to Victory
Let's see if this sounds familiar—jab, jab, jab, jab, right hand, jab, jab, jab, jab, jab, jab, right hand, and repeat for the remainder of the fight.
Since St-Pierre has started working with famed boxing coach Freddie Roach, the jab has turned in to his bread and butter. This is not unlike "Money" Mayweather.
Both fighters effectively use their jab to keep their opponents at bay, and nullify any offense that may be coming their way.
4. Dance the Night Away
Floyd Mayweather Jr. has some of the best footwork in boxing. When he fights, he uses this footwork to consistently to keep his opponent off balance.
St-Pierre has followed in Mayweather's footsteps—pun intended—in his recent fights.
While effective footwork is a necessity in combat sports, both fighters never use it to set up any sort of effective offense.
Their footwork make them harder targets to hit—and get taken down is St-Pierre's case—but it also makes it more difficult for them to put themselves in position to mount an offense other than the one described in the previous slide.
3. They Are Both Ranked No. 2 in the Pound-for-Pound Rankings
Both St-Pierre and Mayweather are regarded as the second-best pound-for-pound fighters in their respective sports.
In front of them are current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, and eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao, respectively.
Silva and St-Pierre, and Mayweather and Pacquiao, have been the dominant forces in their respective sports for years.
At one point of time, both St-Pierre and Mayweather were considered the No. 1 as opposed to the No. 2 slot they are ranked in.
So what caused the flip flop?
2. Lack of Finishing Ability
Maybe it's not a lack of ability. Maybe it's a lack of the desire to finish.
Up until three years ago, St-Pierre was an animal in the cage. At the time he did it, finishing Matt Hughes and Sean Sherk were considered tremendous feats.
Since he defeated Matt Serra to regain his title over three years ago, he hasn't stopped anyone. That is unless you consider B.J. Penn's corner throwing in the towel a stoppage.
Money Mayweather faced Diego Corrales back in 2001, many in the boxing world believed that Corrales would be too big and strong for the much smaller Mayweather.
However, Money proved everyone wrong as he dropped Corrales half a dozen times before "Chico's" corner threw in the towel.
Since that fight, Mayweather has only finished four of his 15 fights.
Once you win the title, what is the point of putting yourself in harm's way?
1. Safety First
Photo from MMAWeekly.com
There are higher expectations placed on those who are considered the best in any sport.
Would Albert Pujols still be considered great if he just went for singles?
Would Peyton Manning be considered great if he just handed the ball off or threw short screen passes every play?
Would Sidney Crosby be considered great if he just sat back and waited for the puck to come to him, and shoot to create rebounds instead of putting the puck in the back of the net?
The great ones take risks to please the paying fans.
In Mayweather's case, many boxing fans don't watch to see him win another boring 12-round decision—they watch hoping his opponent can create some excitement by knocking him out.
The same thing may come to fruition for St-Pierre should he not change his ways.