UFC champs BJ Penn, Georges St. Pierre, and Anderson Silva have all handily beaten the top competitors in their respective division, and, as expected, the question arises for each of them: "What now?" The answer the fans all want is for each of them to move up a weight class and find new challenges there. Silva has fought at 205 twice and Penn was once the welterweight champion, and both seem enthusiastic to continue pursuing challenges at higher weight classes. GSP, on the other hand, has never really embraced the idea.When he talks about it, he seems to offer a lot of excuses, like about how he needs time to put on the muscle correctly, or that he can't fight in two weight classes at once. Nothing taken from GSP, he is by far the most dominant welterweight on the planet, but with all this talk about wanting to be the best fighter ever, why has he seemed so disinterested in fighting at 185?
May I offer the suggestion that maybe St. Pierre is afraid to lose? Since his loss to Matt Serra, GSP has been noticeably more conservative in his fighting style, which was especially evident in his decision victory over Dan Hardy at UFC 111. Fight fans and analysts expected GSP to tear through Hardy on the ground, which he did, but he didn't deliver the brutal ground and pound or highlight reel submission many expected. It has been a very long time since we've seen one of GSP's flashy spin kicks, like he used earlier in his career. Why?
Georges St. Pierre honestly wants to be the greatest fighter of all time, and in his opinion, he can't afford another black mark on his record. The aforementioned weapons that GSP used to use so frequently have dwindled because they are risky, and risky isn't something he wants. The move up to middleweight is an extremely risky one, as St. Pierre realizes he's going to be at a size and strength disadvantage against most, if not all his opponents. If, and it's a big if, GSP does move up to the middleweight division, he's going to need to be 100% mentally ready. St. Pierre will not be in that state until he believes he is guaranteed to win. Or, perhaps more importantly, guaranteed to not lose.