Consensus top-10 rankings in the mixed martial arts world have a lot of names that are in Georges St-Pierre's win column.
At No. 2, there's Jon Fitch. The former Purdue Boilermaker has only lost once in his last 23 bouts—a lopsided decision to GSP at UFC 87.
Although Fitch has been working his way back to a title shot ever since, his latest fight—a draw with contender B.J. Penn—has delayed him yet again, as a rematch will need to take place before he ever does so. In addition, a shoulder injury that requires surgery will have him out an additional four to six months.
The majority of rankings have Jake Shields at No. 3. In case anyone was in a coma for the last several months, UFC 129 was one of the biggest events in MMA history.
GSP easily dispatched Shields despite an eye poke that left him without the use of his left eye. Shields did not really threaten at any point in the fight and there is no reason to believe that a rematch would be considered any time soon.
Thiago Alves is in at No. 4, and while he stood no chance against St-Pierre at UFC 100, he is a constantly improving fighter at only 27 years old. The issue, however, is that injuries have only allowed him to fight twice since his July 11, 2009 bout with the welterweight champion, losing to Jon Fitch and winning impressively against John Howard.
On May 28, he will be taking on Rick Story, whom he will need to dominate in order to start fighting contenders again. Either way, Alves is several fights away from another shot at the title.
At No. 5 is Josh Koscheck. After a great deal of hype with the help of The Ultimate Fighter, Koscheck’s title shot at UFC 124 involved a broken orbital bone and a subsequent trip to the hospital.
Although Koscheck showed some impressive defensive wrestling, it was another lopsided decision for St-Pierre. Koscheck has yet to fight since their bout on Dec. 11, 2010. Obviously, he is far away from a title shot.
Nick Diaz, at No. 6, is the only current legitimate contender at welterweight for St-Pierre that he hasn't already disposed of. Although the majority of the mixed martial arts world believes that Diaz’s lack of wrestling will result in him spending the evening on his back, he does have a tendency to put on exciting fights that rarely go the distance, something that GSP desperately needs at the moment.
Diaz has only gone to decision once in his last 11 bouts.
B.J. Penn is the man in the No. 7 spot. Again, he is tied up in a rematch with Jon Fitch and has already lost to St-Pierre twice. There aren't too many people who would care to see Penn fight for the title again and there really isn't much of a reason to believe anything would be different.
Penn was completely overwhelmed by the bigger, stronger champion and was forced to throw in the towel after four rounds.
Although most of the rankings have names like Carlos Condit, Diego Sanchez, Paul Daley and Martin Kampmann, none of these fighters have ever fought GSP for one reason—consistency.
Condit has lost to Kampmann; Kampmann has lost to Shields and Sanchez (although Diego’s face would probably disagree); Sanchez has lost to Penn and Hathaway; and Daley has lost to Koscheck and Diaz.
Besides a relatively low-threat contender in Nick Diaz, Georges St-Pierre has completely cleared out the welterweight division.
I can understand his hesitance to jump up in weight by 15 pounds to middleweight—a loss to Anderson Silva would be detrimental to his stay there and his career—but this move is inevitable, barring some massive influx of talent to the 170-pound division.
Either way, Anderson Silva is 36 years old and has been bringing up the prospect of retiring in recent years.
Whether St-Pierre fights Silva or not, he should be at 185 for the longevity of his career—for both the potential fights and the increased ease in cutting weight as he ages.
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