Photo from Al Bello/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Georges St. Pierre may be one of the top draws in the UFC, but he has not been immune from criticism as of late for his risk-averse style while Anderson Silva and Jon Jones continue to finish opponents with flash. Now, sidelined for the rest of 2011 and much (if not all) of 2012, it appears that St. Pierre's time being thought of as one of the two most elite fighters in the sport may be over.
St. Pierre's 2011 campaign and inability to get a stoppage win since early 2008 has him on Perry Lefko's list of the most overhyped athletes of 2011 at Sportsnet.ca:
Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White said in December 2011 that St-Pierre is still the most popular athlete in Canada in terms of his international recognition -- we're not so sure about that -- but the welterweight champion is sidelined indefinitely with damaged knee ligaments. And even before his injury, St-Pierre was taking verbal shots from the public, the media and fighters for his inability to put away opponents.
He grabbed the international spotlight in April for headlining the first UFC card in Toronto, producing GSP mania. A record UFC crowd of more than 55,000 packed the Rogers Centre to finally see the conquering Canadian hero and he went the full five rounds with Jake Shields in what was more of a clinic on how not to lose a fight than actually win it.
Yes, GSP had problems seeing out of one eye because of a shot in the fight, but we've seen fighters with far bigger issues turn it up a notch. It was boring at best and continued a pattern of St-Pierre going the full distance without delivering the knockout blow or submission. Heck, the fight before it on the card was way more entertaining than the main event.
It's hard to not look at GSP's reputation against what he actually accomplished in 2011 and argue that he deserves the hype he gets at this point.
The argument isn't over how good he truly is or if he is elite or anything of that nature. It's about hype vs. performance. Similar to how Floyd Mayweather makes an appearance on the list for a year where he did nothing except knock out an overmatched Victor Ortiz with a shot that, while legal, many still consider a suckerpunch. Oh...and get sentenced to a stint in jail.