Georges St-Pierre: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

May 9, 2011
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If you watched UFC 129: St-Pierre vs. Shields, you probably have the opinion that you witnessed an epic fight card with quality bouts from bottom to top. From the flying triangle submission by Pablo Garza to the Karate Kid crane kick executed by Lyoto Machida on Randy Couture, which knocked the legend out, sending him into retirement.

With more than 55,000 fans attending the fights at the Rogers Centre, UFC 129 was truly an accomplishment for the UFC specifically and mixed marital arts in general.

One of the few glaring criticisms of the show, however, were the performances put on by Georges St-Pierre and Jake Shields in the welterweight title fight, the card’s main event. St-Pierre won a decision over an opponent that had little offense on the feet, successfully retaining his championship belt. “Boring” has been one of the adjectives thrown around when describing the five-round fight that was scored unanimously for St-Pierre.

It may be true that GSP didn’t do anything that was overly exciting to win the fight, but it’s next to impossible to say he didn’t deserve to collect the win. After all, he did what he had to do in order for the judges to see the fight go in his favor. The pace was controlled by St-Pierre for the entire bout, dictating exactly where he wanted the match to go. At the end of the day, he still has the strap around his waist.

St-Pierre has his own approach for every fight, and he’ll use that approach as he sees fit in order to add to the “W” side of his record. Would every fighter use that same approach? Probably not.

Thiago Alves, for example, has his own style that he believes works best for him, and it differs from the way GSP does his work in the Octagon. If put in the same situation, Alves believes he definitely would have done things a little different, and put in enough work to make the win more decisive.

“That was the perfect gameplan for Jake Shields, but I would just try to finish the fight a little bit more,” Alves told MMAWeekly Radio Weekend Edition. “Throw more right hands. He was really open for low kicks. I think every low kick that he landed (came) from the outside.”

Alves, who faced St-Pierre in his only welterweight title shot at UFC 100 in 2009, is popular for his striking techniques and finishes. Fans, for the most part, enjoy watching exciting finishes to fights, and that’s exactly what Alves looks to do when in the Octagon.

Although he says he wouldn’t fight the same fight St-Pierre did, Alves still gives credit where it’s due, praising the welterweight champion for the win on April 30.

“I think he did enough to win the fight,” he said. “GSP, everybody knows, he’s known to be very safe. He fights to win and he gets the job done. I think it was a good performance, I mean, not my kind of performance, but he’s still the champion. You can’t go against that.”

Since losing to Matt Serra at UFC 69, there has been a subtle difference in the way St-Pierre finishes fights. In the current champion’s first 13 wins, the fights went to decision only three times. The other 10 wins consisted of six by TKO and four by submission. Of St-Pierre’s nine wins after the Serra loss, only three have been by a decisive finish. One win was by submission against Matt Hughes at UFC 79, while the other two were over Serra – the fight in which St-Pierre won his welterweight title back – and B.J. Penn.

Even the Penn stoppage was debatable. If it had not been for Penn’s corner asking to stop the fight, St-Pierre could have been on his way to yet another decision.

With four wins in a row by decision, and all the criticism thrown out there by fans, media, bloggers and vloggers, perhaps St-Pierre will be fueled to finish a fight by knockout. If that’s true, one can’t feel anything other than sorry for the 170-pound champion’s next opponent.

Got something to say? Weigh in with a thought of your own in the comments section below.

Erik Fontanez is a staff writer for
@Erik_Fontanez on Twitter or e-mail Erik a question or comment.

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  • MrAdidas

    “Even the Penn stoppage was debatable. If it had not been for Penn’s corner asking to stop the fight, St-Pierre could have been on his way to yet another decision.” – Dude your an IDIOT! If you think GSP Vs Penn 2 could of had went to a decision if BJ were to go out for Round 5, not only are you a moron/delusional but you obviously dont know SHIT about MMA, in regards to the beating BJ took those first 4 Rounds. The ONLY reason BJ’s corner stopped the fight SO LATE was b/c of all of the SHIT BJ talked in the Prime Time episodes leading up to that fight – talking about how BJ was going to own, embaress, spank & KO GSP, and most importantly that GSP was a quitter. Had BJ not talked about GSP being a “pussy for quitting” & that he was going to KO GSP, that fight would have been stopped LONG BEFORE the end of the 4th. But not only that, had that been another fighter (other than BJ – who has a chin of steel & who can take a beating) who would have taken the beating BJ took…… repeated elbows to the face/several dozen punches to the face/knees etc., pretty much the beating of anyones life that fight would have NEVER seen the Championship Rounds.

    How anyone who has the general knowledge of MMA & common sense when it comes to the BRUTAL punichment BJ took VS GSP in their 2nd fight, would know that BJ possibly could have been “killed” had he gone out for that 5th Round. BJ would have undoubtedly might have been forced to retire, had he gone out for Round 5. The guy/BJ was concussed in the 2nd Round, which caused him not to remember Rounds 3 & 4, yet you think he would have been able to survive 5 more mins of what GSP gave him, the last 3 Rounds?!? WOW how in the hell are you writing for na MMA site? But the real question is…… how in the hell could anyone, ESPECIALLY an MMA “expert/writer” actually think GSP Vs. Penn 2 could have possibly went to a decision after the first 4 Rounds?!? My god dude, you are an IDIOT! BJ can thank his lucky STARS his corner/brother stopped the fight when he did (IMO – was a late stoppage, but better late than never). BJ’s mother, father, wife, daughter, the rest of his family, friends & fans can thank their lucky stars the fight was stopped when it was.

    “If it had not been for Penn’s corner asking to stop the fight, St-Pierre could have been on his way to yet another decision” – WTF were you watching dude? B/C it sure as hell wasnt the same fight all of us watched. It’s official, YOU ARE the DUMBEST MMA writer to have made a comment, in which not even Ray Charles would have gotten wrong!!!

    P.S Are you one of the 2 moronic judges who gave Jake Shields 2 Rounds (Rounds 4 & 5) Vs. GSP?!? B/C that could possibly explain a little…. a little in regards to why that comment of GSP Vs BJ Penn 2 could have gone to a decision was one of the most uneducated & idiotic comment I’ve read in a LONG time, and thats saying something. DEFINATELY QUIT YOUR DAY JOB!!!

    • ShockednAwed

      Don’t beat around the bush dude, just say what you think. 😀

      Harsh indictment of Erik though, and really no call for all the intelligence insults. You can certainly argue your point about the fight not making it through a hypothetical fifth round, but if the corner had thrown in the towl after round three, you’d have been able to make the same argument about a hypothetical round four, right?

      Which is to say, GSP could have slipped into a stupid armbar twenty seconds into the fifth and lost the fight! Do I honestly think that could have happened? Of course not, but in the world of the hypothetical, nearly anything’s possible.

      I’ve always found Erik to be a generally strong writer, who delivers informative, readable articles, and since I don’t have to pay to read ’em, I’m grateful for the service. I don’t always agree, but I don’t remember not getting to the end.

      But you’re welcome to your opinion too. 😀

  • gnodeb

    I don’t think GSP’s fights are boring. I see him control all his fights against top opponents. He make damage and score points without risk. It is true MMArt.

    I read several times how Shields was open to leg kicks. All Shields need is to take you down once :). So, if you are as smart as GSP is, you wont throw a single leg kick entire fight… Shields had 15 fights win streak just because people couldn’t resist to play his game. And he was not going to change his game plan to please fans. He was forced to play GSP game. We can say he tasted his own medicine…

  • huffman

    Thiago Alves is riding four consecutive decisions himself.

    Also, GSPs last six opponents have been KOd 5 times and submitted 9 times in approximately 175 matches with most of those losses coming early in their careers.

    For the top ten fighters there is too much to lose. Especially in a deep division like welterweight. If you lose you could be years away from another title shot.

    I think you will see more decisions in the future from fighters attempting to make runs at titles.

  • rezsurfer

    GSP is way to smart for the normal super fan they claim they are and way to smart for most fighters. GSP is way above the fighters in fights his skills and smarts and gameplans are well above all, he sticks to waht he knows to win while other fighters and fake fans want him to break the game plan for “there” happiness. GSP is all about winning, and will not break it for anyone.

    Look at Machida, he stuck to his game plans then was always questioned about why he wont be different, he did and got knocked out. Jake shields could have done more himself why dont we ask we ALL shields fights are boring and un exciting, he is not a attacker or fighter he just a BJJ fighter and GSP is not stupid to go to the ground with him, ol Jake could have attacked but he was being smart and not going to get wild also. Smart fighters and GSP was just patient and smart.

  • armendo420

    ok gsp has went to decision a few times,but not one of his fights have been borin…if u think gsp sux bcuz he hasnt finished ppl maybe u should start watchin somethin else like the wwe or something cuz ur fucked

  • streetfightertoo

    Diaz vs GSP, lets do this!!!

    • Cptmats

      Why ? Diaz is a joke ! there are much better fights out there ! George needs to move up, with a smaller weight cut he would be stronger faster and more explosive than ever ! Silva would be an easier fight than shields because Gsp could do what he does best, take him down and smash his face through the mat without worrying about the subs, like he did with shields !

      • armendo420

        i agree with most of that i dont think diaz could beat gsp but!! who else is there to put him up against in the weight division.. but diaz would do better then shields bcuz diaz at least has a stand up game!!

        • gnodeb

          but he has zero TD defense, so he will be on his ass for 5 rounds…

  • x1234x

    Look all you guys are beating around the bush, Bottom line GSP has the ability to destroy literally destroy most his opponents, but is a scardey cat, he doesnt want to even get touched when he goes out there he thinks that the oppponent in just going to laydown in front of him and wait to get beaten up by GSP St pierre is going at about 60 % out there if he was a little bit more confident and actually started to commit when he has his opponent hurt he will finish all his fights again, he under performs so much that is his only problem belive me this guy was finishing stronger and better opponents that Dan Hardy and Koscheck and shields like 4 years ago. UMMMMM TRY HUGHES, Penn, sherk, hughes penn again, !!!!!!! lol ever since the Serra tko, hes been shiting his pants every time he fights and hes been over estimating his opponents too much. The kind of fight that St pierre fights should be reserved for his bout with silva not Koscheck or Hardy or even shields( the same guy that had Henderson and Kampmann on the ground for 3 rounds and couldnt do shit cuz he’s overratted)