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UFC 129 Results: GSP Cements Pound-for-Pound Legacy with Shields Win

Jordy McElroy@https://twitter.com/JordyMcElroyCorrespondent IMay 1, 2011

NEW YORK - MARCH 24:  Georges St-Pierre of Montreal, Quebec, Canada speaks at a press conference for UFC 111 at Radio City Music Hall on March 24, 2010 in New York City.  St-Pierre will face Dan Hardy of Nottingham UK in the Welterweight title bout.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

It wasn't his greatest performance, but in front of thousands of screaming fans at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Georges St-Pierre successfully defended his welterweight title for a sixth consecutive time at UFC 129, in a unanimous decision win over Jake Shields.

Instead of embracing the significance of the victory, critics have undermined St-Pierre's performance due to the close nature of the bout, lack of a finish and "safe" tactics utilized by the French Canadian.

This is a complete disservice to Shields, who is easily one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

What were people expecting? Did they believe St-Pierre would coast into the octagon, release his bowels all over Shields and exit the arena with his magazine cover looks still intact?

Leading up to this bout, Shields was anointed as St-Pierre's toughest challenge for a reason. He's an incredibly smart and talented fighter, who has defeated some of the best fighters in the world.

In the grappling department, Shields has ADCC experience and, apparently, he has made significant improvements in his striking.

It's probably harder for boxing fanatics to understand, but MMA fans should know how rare it is to compile a 15 fight win streak competing at Shields' level. He has been considered a world-class fighter for a long time and it's a shame to see him treated like some scrub randomly challenging for a UFC title.

By defeating Shields, St-Pierre takes another name in the pound-for-pound rankings. This is arguably his fifth win over a pound-for-pound opponent

Matt Hughes (second bout), B.J. Penn (second bout), Jon Fitch and Thiago Alves were all considered pound-for-pound fighters when they stepped into the octagon with St-Pierre.

How many other fighters can claim this?

As far as his "safe" fighting style is concerned, St-Pierre's style of fighting isn't for everyone. He's a much different fighter than he was earlier in his UFC career. The aggressive, young lion has become a more methodical and savvy veteran.

True dominance doesn't always equate to finishes. It is all within the beholder's eye.

For example, we could compare St-Pierre's unanimous decision win over Koscheck at UFC 124 with Silva's front kick knockout of Vitor Belfort at UFC 126.

Who was the more dominant victor?

St-Pierre proved his dominance by systematically picking Koscheck to pieces for all five rounds, but he wasn't able to finish the fight. Against Belfort, Silva ended the fight early with one of the most spectacular finishes in UFC history, but what are the odds that he lands that kick in a rematch?

What's more dominant––a five round drubbing or a quick finish?

A fighter finishing his opponent may be more aesthetically pleasing to fans, but it isn't the only form of dominance.

At UFC 129, St-Pierre cemented his legacy as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time. Some people find his fighting style boring and others look forward to seeing him compete.

Regardless of personal opinion, St-Pierre's résumé speaks for itself.

Just ask Jake Shields.

(SportsHaze.com)

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