"I was very, very, very impressed with GSP that night, because Pitbull was so hard to take down, people don’t know how good that guy is…GSP just keeps people guessing, you don’t know what he’s doing; if he’s gonna take you down or if he’s gonna strike…I mean, we brought in a lot of good wrestlers to try to take Thiago down, and nobody can do it. Hughes couldn’t do it, Koscheck couldn’t do it, Karo Parisyan; those are great takedown guys, none of them could do it."
Mike Brown, who trained with Alves for his UFC 100 title shot, commenting on GSP's performance on Inside MMA.
In the weeks before the fight, I spoke with people at ATT who rattled off names of wrestlers they brought in that could not take Alves down. Mohammed Lawal got on Junkie radio after training with Alves and said GSP wouldn't be able to take him down. In the end, St. Pierre practically made Thiago Alves look like Cheick Kongo.
Speaking of St. Pierre, it looks like he won't undergo surgery. A press release today clarified that he will be back in the gym within a few weeks. I suspect we'll probably see him again in January.
There's a lot made of St. Pierre's ability to keep his opponents guessing. I think it's all true, but it also ignores how good his technique is. If you take a look at his shots in the Alves fight, he shoots in at the legs, and as soon as he feels resistance he changes levels into a knee tap and gets Alves down. He uses his opponent's defense against his initial takedown attempt against him and drives through in a way that will be hard for anyone to stop. Why doesn't anyone else do it? Because they can't, it takes an incredible skill level to pull off that kind of level shifting in the middle of a takedown.