During GSP's title defense against Dan Hardy, I felt myself coming over all warm and floaty when I saw the Canadian fighter simply let go of the kimura that Hardy had refused to tap to.
It was as clear as day. That arm was there for the taking, and at that moment, GSP could have gone one of two ways. The way of Aoki Shinya, Rousimar Palhares or Megumi Fujii, or any other fighter with killer instinct and--for the time when the cage door is closed at least--no mercy, would have left Hardy nursing a shoulder joint that resembled a cup sitting about three centimetres from its saucer, and his arm flapping about like a limp noodle. St. Pierre took the sportsman's option, the martial artist's option.
He was completely, unworriedly dominating Hardy, and there was no need to take that arm home with him.
Some of you may lament the lack of finishing, and I admit that--despite cheering for Hardy--I wanted to see the fight over rather than crawl to a halt at the end of the fifth round. But I winced when GSP slapped on that kimura and cranked it up to the back of Hardy's head. I was glad I didn't have to see that brutal moment where the skin wobbles, there's a barely perceptible, almost inaudible bass crack, and then the limb hangs loose and unconnected.
I applaud GSP's choice to leave the arm. And it was a choice; he had complete positional control of Hardy, and could have ripped the arm off, but chose not to. Is that a sign of something else? Surely, GSP has trained enough to know how to finish from just about any position. Has his pursuit for the purest levels of martial art robbed him of the old-fashioned bloodlust that is needed at the highest levels of the sport? Or is GSP the evolved mixed martial athlete, one who his truly separating the spectacle from the sport?
Does GSP lack the killer instinct? There are many people disappointed with GSP's performance and the lack of a finish. Personally, I prefer the five-round decision win for GSP, and Hardy back to fight another day, to seeing GSP break Hardy's arm.
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