UFC 137: 5 Reasons Why a Georges St-Pierre Loss Is a Good Thing for the UFC
Georges St-Pierre has been the UFC Welterweight kingpin for quite some time. GSP's last loss occurred in 2007 in one of the biggest upsets in UFC history.
St-Pierre admitted he was not focused on his training and would vow to reclaim his title. After running through Matt Serra to get his belt back, GSP began a run of dominance that has landed the Canadian at the No. 2 Pound for Pound list in MMA.
Since then, GSP has become one of the UFC's top PPV draws as well. He's also signed endorsement deals with companies outside the MMA market such as Gatorade and Under Armour.
So why should the UFC be hoping for a Carlos Condit upset on Oct. 29?
Much like we saw with the 185-pound division, the UFC Welterweight division has grown rather stale the past few years.
GSP has been so dominant that people tune in to watch how St-Pierre is going to win, not if he will win.
When fans watch GSP enter the octagon, we know it's not if but a matter of how and when GSP gets his hand raised.
If someone like Dan Hardy not only gets a title shot, but then has to talk for weeks on end to get you to buy the PPV based on the fact he has a puncher's chance, you know the product has gotten a little stale.
4. New Opportunities for the Welterweight Division
Is Jon Fitch the most exciting fighter? No. Does he deserve a title shot? Of course he does.
But he will never get one because GSP still resides up top. Fitch's boring (to some fight fans and Dana White) fight style and lack of charisma would make it hard for the UFC to sell Fitch vs. St-Pierre 2 after the beating Fitch took in their first bout.
Not only would Fitch get his well deserved title shot, but the entire 170-pound division would be blown wide open. No longer would we be forced to say, "Hey this guy's good, but he has no chance against GSP."
Every guy ranked in the top 10 in the UFC would have a fair chance to advance themselves into title contention should a new champion emerge on Oct. 29.
3. A Better GSP?
When St-Pierre lost his title to Matt Serra, we heard GSP promise to come back stronger and more focused. After taking care of Josh Koscheck, GSP destroyed Serra in their rematch.
Since then we've seen GSP become less and less aggressive. Even after breaking Koscheck's orbital bone in their rematch, St-Pierre still couldn't put away his adversary.
If GSP were to lose, maybe he would understand the need to put guys away when has the opportunity. Part of it rests with his recent challengers being unable to mount any offense at all or having bad game plans (pulling guard Jake? Really?), but the majority of the blame rests on GSP's shoulders.
GSP should be finishing opponents instead of letting them hang around for five rounds. If he feels the need to apologize after every win then maybe he should show he's sorry and actually finish a challenger.
2. GSP Can Still Draw Money Without the Belt
GSP isn't going to see his endorsement deals or his fan base diminish if he loses. He's a model athlete for sponsors and fans will still call him the greatest welterweight of all time.
His appeal not only comes from his ability to dominate opponents, but also from the fans who tune in to see him lose. Like the New York Yankees in baseball, people want to see him lose. Not because they don't like him, but because he wins.
The belt always helps the ability to sell, but fans of GSP tune in to either watch his technical brilliance at work or to see the other guy dethrone the champ.
1. New Stars Will Be Needed
GSP is only 30 years old and shows no sign of slowing down, but what happens to the rest of the division while he reigns over them?
He doesn't really fight on a regular schedule, which means even longer time between fights and longer times that the title picture remains the same.
Eventually GSP is going to lose or retire (I'm not sure which will come first), and the UFC is going to need new stars to carry the 170-pound division.
Allowing new challengers to the title picture would allow new stars to be built so the UFC doesn't have to depend solely on GSP to sell the Welterweight division.