George St-Pierre ended Jake Shields’ 15-fight win streak, defeating the challenger in their championship main event at UFC 129: St-Pierre vs. Shields.
GSP outperformed Shields for five rounds, earning the unanimous decision to retain the welterweight title.
UFC welterweight title fight started out quiet. Shields attempted to get a single leg takedown, but ended up in a clinch with the champ against the cage. St-Pierre landed some jabs, much like he did in his last fight against Koscheck, and threw a couple of spinning back kicks that didn’t land. With a minute-and-a-half left in the round, St-Pierre landed some great counter-jabs, knocking Shields back on both occasions. The round ended with St-Pierre doing some quick steps then throwing a headkick, narrowly missing his opponent.
Round two started Shields trying some kicks, but there was little power behind them. St-Pierre was still landing his jabs and backing up his opponent. A nice overhand right by St-Pierre shook the challenger and was the biggest strike landed in the fight so far. Later, a spinning back kick by St-Pierre landed nicely in his opponent’s midsection. Shields attempted to clinch with the champion, but he was never able to get his arms fully around his opponent’s frame. The round came to a close with St-Pierre landing another couple of jabs.
The third round had Shields coming out with some more urgency, but St-Pierre’s jab was still keeping him at bay. Shields still hadn’t provided any effective offense at this point in the fight. St-Pierre’s overhand right, however, was landing some scoring points. The final minute of the round had St-Pierre get a big double-leg takedown and the fight was on the ground for the first time in the evening. The takedown was late in the round, however, and little was done until the horn signaled the end of the five-minute segment.
Round four had St-Pierre getting the takedown early, but it didn’t stay on the ground long, and the two returned to the feet where St-Pierre kept the advantage. Near the midway point of the round, the champion landed a switch kick and it shook Shields. Shields went down, but St-Pierre didn’t follow his opponent to the ground and preferred standing with the challenger, allowing him to get back up. The two traded some back and forth for the remainder of the round, and St-Pierre was cut across the bridge of his nose by a straight right from Shields.
The final round had Shields coming out aggressive and the champion’s nose bleeding some more. St-Pierre used his jab and threw an occasional overhand right while Shields attempted to close the distance. Late in the round, the Canadian crowd began to boo due to the lack of action in the final moments of the championship bout. The last ten seconds had St-Pierre go for a takedown, but ended up in a clinch until the end of the fight.
The fight went to decision and St. Pierre retained his title, defeating Jake Shields by unanimous decision (50-45, 48-47, 48-47)
St-Pierre said after the fight that he was unable to see out of his left eye.
“I think in the second round…I got scratched inside,” the champion said after the win. “I need to go to (the) hospital. I can’t see with my left eye right now. I just see a blur.”
The champion also admitted that he was surprised by the striking from the challenger, explaining that it was more than he expected. He also apologized to the fans because he wanted to finish Shields, but didn’t find the opportunity.
“His striking was much better than I thought,” he said. “He closed my eyes, you know?
“I’m sorry to the fans. I wanted to make a knockout or a submission.”
St-Pierre was asked by Joe Rogan if he would be interested in a fight with middleweight champion Anderson Silva, but the victorious 170-pound champion talked down the superfight for the moment after he had just went through a five-round fight.