(Five-pound dumbbells are the secret to dominance. / Image courtesy of GSP RUSHFIT)
By Nathan Smith
I know what a lot of you were thinking (and by “a lot” I mean nobody): Where is The12ozCurls with his obligatory fluffy, ball-washing post on Georges St. Pierre pertaining to his upcoming fight? Well, I hate to disappoint my dozens of CagePotato fans and Twitter followers (seriously, *bottom lip quivers* I got like 50) so I will give you what you want. What most of you want is more ammo to fire in my direction if/when GSP loses. And judging from the current CP Fight Picking Contest stats, a majority of you think Johny Hendricks is going to put my beloved Canadian to sleep on Saturday night. You are all entitled to your opinion no matter how wrong it might be.
Let me explain: GSP has dominated the welterweight division for the better part of a decade. He has systematically vanquished each foe with a combination of athleticism, technique, cardio and sound game-planning. There is no debating that. Yet most of the flat-billed hat-wearing mouth-breathing meatheads that scream “KNEEEEES!” whenever there is a clinch, constantly talk shit on GSP because he is a boring fighter that doesn’t finish (and because he is handsome . . . . really really handsome).
That is the knock on one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time—that he’s ambien personified—but upon further review, GSP has done far more long-term damage to his last 8 opponents than ending a fight via TKO or submission. He effectively sent their careers into the toilet, which is far worse than just knocking them out cold. All of the following fighters were the #1 contender for the UFC WW Championship but each one was sent packing like my ex-wife (What? Too soon?). I’ll start with all the fights after GSP kneed Matt Serra’s kidneys into oblivion and became the undisputed champ back at UFC 83.
GSP’s victory over Fitch is the third most lopsided 5-round decision in UFC history. However, Fitch is one of the few that can boast a winning record since facing GSP, but those numbers are inflated. Much like the SEC football teams’ out-of-conference schedule, Fitch padded his stats. He has a positive record by essentially fighting B- to C+ fighters like Akihiro Gono, Paulo Thiago and Ben Saunders. That is not to say defeating a very game Erick Silva is not impressive, but then again, that was Fitch’s last fight in the UFC before getting choked unconscious in World Series of Fighting and then moving across the country for a training job at a start-up gym.
Lost via TKO (corner stoppage) at UFC 94
Record since = 3-4-1
During the Countdown special prior to his fight with GSP, Penn looked straight into the camera and said, “To the death Georges. To the death.” Well, thankfully for The Prodigy, his corner stopped the fight at the end of the 4th round or else he might very well be six feet under because he got his ass handed to him. Afterwards, Penn dropped back to lightweight and got a couple wins before running into Frankie Edgar. He then moved back to welterweight where he most recently got annihilated by Nick Diaz and Rory MacDonald. For his next trick (and probably his last), B.J. will try and make the featherweight limit as a coach on the next exciting installment of The Ultimate Fighter *yawn*.
Alves got taken down a total of 10 times during his contest with GSP. The feared striker didn’t come close to winning a round. He has beaten John Howard and Papy Abedi since November 2008. That is 2 wins in the last five fucking years. Sure, the injury bug has bitten him on more than a few occasions, but that is two wins in FIVE YEARS—a Tito Ortiz or Ken Shamrock level statistic! CagePotato was just an infant (with UFC credentials) five years ago and my liver did NOT look like a baked potato.
Yep, another clean sweep on the scorecards for GSP in this one but there were two times during the fight where Hardy was in severe danger of getting his arm snapped. To Hardy’s credit, he preserved through 25 minutes…but then he lost three consecutive fights afterwards. At least he had the honor of tapping to Chris Lytle during his Lights Out’s retirement fight. Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome has sidelined Hardy for over a year and his career as a fighter is hazy at best.
Lost via UD at 124
Record since = 2-2
(Image courtesy of MMAPro)
GSP jabbed Fraggle Rock’s face into a pulp en route to another 50-45 victory. Koscheck has always been a perennial contender but unless he catches lightning in a bottle, his best days are behind him. In his last fight Robbie Lawler sent him to dream land with a barrage of punches. I wonder what it is like for a notorious shit-talking virtuoso like Kos to walk around backstage at UFC 167 and have to see GSP, Johny Hendricks, AND Lawler—the last three men to beat him. Humbling, I suppose but I bet he still bumps his gums nonetheless.
Lost via UD at UFC 129
Record since = 3-1-1
Shields conjured his inner Koscheck during his bout with GSP and went into unintentional eye-poke mode, which limited the champion’s vision for a majority of the fight. Even fighting with one peeper, GSP was able to easily outpoint Shields for 25 minutes. Though Shields is 3-1-1, he could just as easily be 1-3-1 because his last two fights were decided via split decision in his favor. He is a very good fighter who probably has a few years left in his career (provided California continues to approve medicinal marijuana) but he will never be champion.
Let’s be honest about two things right now. First, Condit had GSP really hurt for about 90 seconds and that was the only time that “The Natural Born Killer” held any advantage during the 25 minute affair. Secondly, Condit is the only name on this list that still has the potential to be the welterweight champion in the future. Though he is only batting .500 in his last two contests, Carlos Condit is a stud who could be the champ one day if/when GSP retires (or does something else). Until then, he is waiting in line.
Diaz finally got a shot at GSP and was thwarted by footwork, speed and wrestling. The destructor of all things bullshit then (as expected) acted like a petulant child, took his ball, went home, and retired. I can’t wait for 2014 to see if Nick decides to stop promoting his own fighting organization and start promoting his comeback fight (CAGEPOTATO BAN BE DAMNED).
There you have it. With the exception of Carlos Condit, there is not one guy on this list that is a “player” in the welterweight mix. Fitch is out of the UFC, while Penn is grasping at straws as he plays musical weight classes and prepares for a swan song. Thiago Alves needs a new mattress because his bed bugs have been cross-bred with injury bugs and Dan Hardy may never fight again due to his medical condition. Josh Koscheck is still a dickhead but now more of a gatekeeper than contender and the world awaits a global coma for the Jake Shields vs Ben Askren fight to get announced (although now that seems unlikely). That leaves us with Nick Diaz who is, well, Nick Diaz and there isn’t a thing anybody can do about it. Minus Condit, all of these men have seen their once prolific and ascending careers’ tailspin in recent years and there is only one thing that they ALL have in common: They were all dominated by GSP. Georges St. Pierre doesn’t end the fight inside the cage, he ends the fighter.