In the aftermath of a memorable MMA event, a stampede of superlatives get spewed. The general feeling is that we have just borne witness to the fiercest fight and fearsome fighter, the most epic event and mighty moves, and so on and so forth. The point is, that we are all very quick to proclaim that a new benchmark for this burgeoning sport has been set.
But Georges St-Pierre May be the Greatest of All Time
But, in light of the events that unfolded at Madison Square Garden, we are left wondering if there is a single reason to not name Georges St-Pierre the Greatest of All Time.
It is not just that St-Pierre became only the fourth fighter in the history of the UFC to hold titles in two weight classes when he defeated Michael Bisping for the middleweight title at UFC 217, as any good online sports betting guide will be very quick to tell you. This alone confirms that he deserves at least a spot on the short list.
The Magnificent Moves that St-Pierre Executed
It’s not just the tremendous form St-Pierre displayed when he won the fight. The clash seemed to be heading southwards for the former longtime UFC welterweight champion, as he tired some time into the second round, and then seemed to get much worse when St-Pierre managed to land one of his trademark takedowns only to see Bisping carving him up from the bottom with his elbows.
It’s not just that St-Pierre’s pitiless finisher’s touch, which saw him suckering Bisping into ceding enough space for St-Pierre to get his winning chokehold in, served to silence all of those who have called him a fighter who plays it safe while he has gone on to rack up successful title defense after successful title defense.
It is, in large part, down to St-Pierre doing what he has done since emerging from his four-year hiatus.
The Bigger Picture
So many MMA fighter comebacks just don’t work and sometimes boxers making a comeback work out, or they don’t. Even Muhammad Ali took tune-up matches when he returned from his time away from the ring before he went on to regain the title.
While all of this is important, the bigger picture must be considered as well. The overriding fact is that St-Pierre believed in himself enough to walk away from the octagon while he was at his peak. He wanted the sport to be cleaned up, overseen by USADA all year-round, and came back to face a champ in Bisping, who had thrived once the testing had started being implemented.
The gentlemanly aspect that St-Pierre brings to this all-too-frequently filthy game is an aspect that must be considered as well. While it was amusing when he stopped himself before swearing on television, this small act served as a reminder of the way things used to be, more respectful, and, quite simply, more gracious all round. The MMA is starting to get defined by its trash-talking tough guys that the media is all too happy to exploit, and this one fighter is the change he wishes to see in the MMA.