Determining the greatest fighter of all time is always going to be a difficult task. It’s no surprise that there are several strong contenders, just like in any other sports, but I believe I have one guy in mind that makes the strongest case.
Of course, I’m talking about Georges St-Pierre.
So, What Makes Georges St-Pierre So Good?
GSP rose to prominence in the early-to-mid 2000s, a time when the sport was still finding its feet and the fighters were mostly known for being really good at one thing. What set him apart is that he was good at everything, almost right off the bat.
He started with Kyokushin Karate at an early age, but when his master died, his focus drifted in multiple directions. Because of this, he was able to learn several martial arts skills in a short period of time and was ready for a professional MMA debut at 20.
From the start, he excelled in planing his fights and making intelligent decisions while dodging his opponent’s blows or defending a takedown.
In those early years, he was prone to panic when hurt, but as he matured as a fighter, he overcame those nerves and became the greatest UFC fighter.
Getting that championship for the first time really changed him, and for the better. He grew more confident and he was able to beat his opponents at their own game. This was so demoralizing that no fighter was able to regain their former glory after fighting GSP and they faded into obscurity.
What made him so tough to figure out is that he would adapt his style to the opponent and always had a perfect counter. This brought him some criticism in the later years when he was labeled as a “safe fighter”, but his win record speaks for it itself and in my opinion, five-round domination is just as good as a first-round finish, if not better.
Although I concede that it might be less exciting for casual fans, I still believe it is the most dominant way to win.
Not A Spotless Record
Let’s address the possible detriments to his GOAT status.
The two losses have to be there, but my counter-argument to those is that he easily dominated both men who beat him in a rematch.
I could go on and on about how Matt Serra beating GSP was a fluke, but I’m not going to. The fact of the matter is that Serra beat him fair and square. But St-Pierre had zero problems with ‘The Terror’ in the rematch.
With Matt Hughes, it’s a little different. Hughes was the cream of the crop of the welterweight division at the time of their first fight, while that was Georges’ only eight career fight. For their rematch, they seemed evenly matched on paper, but St-Pierre easily handed Hughes, and when the time came for the trilogy to be concluded, it wasn’t even interesting.
The Perfect Sportsman
One of the biggest reasons why I didn’t choose Anderson Silva or Jon Jones is because of their antics, in the cage for the former, and out of it for the latter.
Georges St-Pierre on the other hand, is a professional through and through, a role model and not just for MMA fighters, but for any other athlete out there.
I believe that despite his imperfect record, Georges St-Pierre should still rightfully be called the Greatest of all Time. Although there are good candidates for this title all over the place, GSP has that perfect storm for a GOAT athlete.
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