GSP: Already the UFC's Greatest Welterweight Ever?
This will probably be the most difficult article I'll write. Not because it took a lot of time, effort, and research, but rather that the man that Georges St-Pierre has/will replace as greatest UFC welterweight is my all time favorite fighter.
Anyway, here it goes.
There was no welterweight champion as dominate as Matt Hughes. For a long time, he was unstoppable.
His pick up slams? Legendary.
His ground and pound? Vicious.
From his UFC 34 title fight against Carlos Newton, the UFC and its fan were introduced to Hughes. During the fight, Newton had Hughes in a DEEP triangle choke. Hughes literally picked Newton up while being choked, walked Newton to his corner, and as he was just about to lose consciousness, Hughes slammed Newton to the canvas and rendered him unconscious.
Hughes was the new welterweight champion.
From that point on, Hughes went 13-1 in the UFC only losing to BJ Penn at UFC 46. Hughes then locked up with a weary GSP at UFC 50, and dominated the young GSP en route to getting his title back.
Matt Hughes and his UFC 50 bout was the reason I began watching, after all.
The two would meet once more at UFC 65. GSP dominated the world's greatest welterweight, and it was officially GSP's time to dominate 170.
He hasn't looked back since.
Since beating Hughes, GSP has taken Hughes' spot as the most dominate champion in the UFC. Sure he had a minor setback with a shocking loss against Matt Serra, but I strongly believe that we have never seen a fighter improve so much after a loss of that caliber.
For the longest time, I still put Hughes ahead of GSP due to the fact that Matt was so dominate for so long. Sure Georges is dominate, but he has had half the fights that Hughes has had.
Maybe that has to change.
For this article, I watched everyone of GSP's fights from his fight after his Hughes loss up until his UFC 100 fight with Thiago Alves.
If I could sum up GSP's fights in one word?
Not that you already know this, but GSP is so dominate. Matt Hughes was dominate as well, but Hughes was one-dimensional with his wrestling. GSP can beat you anywhere. As with Hughes, if he couldn't take you down, he had decent to good boxing, but it couldn't win him a fight alone.
GSP can take you down and ground and pound you one minute, attempt a submission the next minute, or let you up and let his hands fly if the ground isn't working. He's easily the most complete fighter in the UFC and maybe all of MMA.
I literally had goose bumps watching GSP’s fights. He’s always so calm, collected, and never seems in trouble. When you see that GSP is fighting, you just know he’s going to win.
So, is it time that we call GSP the best welterweight in UFC history?
Perhaps we should wait until he gets some more fights under his belt?
I don't think you can judge this off of the fact that GSP has won two of his three fights with Hughes.
Both have beaten Penn.
Both have beat Matt Serra.
Hughes beat Royce Gracie. GSP beat Alves. So in terms of overall opponents, they're pretty much equal in those categories as well.
Whatever the verdict, we all know if GSP isn't the greatest 170 of all time right now, he will be in a short time. I
t's just a matter of time...much to my dismay, that is.
Dan Carey is co-founder of Minnesota Sports Guys blog at http://themnsportsguys.blogspot.com/ and is a sports-humor writer at http://www.bleacherreport.com/
Re: GSP: Already the UFC's Greatest Welterweight Ever?
To answer the question in the title: yes.