UFC 129, Rogers Center, Toronto Canada. 55,000 screaming fans are in the building. The UFC production value is at an all time high, with that ginormous screen on top of the Octagon. I've just witnessed a flying triangle, a broken nose caused by a short elbow, a crane kick straight out of Karate Kid by one of my favorite fighters, a legend retiring head intact (not sure with the teeth though), a $129K worthy FOTN performance (plus a Hellboy-esque horn growing on Hominick's forehead). It was an almost perfect UFC card, bound to be talked about for times to come.
And the main event hasn't even started yet. GSP, many consider to be the top p4p fighter in MMA history, will be looking to crush and school Jake Shields, a man who has been perceived to have lethal ground game and would bring a 15 fight win streak. Then the fight happened. It was incredibly frustrating to watch both men through the course of the fight. GSP is throwing wild overhand rights and spinning back kicks that barely did damage. Shields, being the ground wizard, hasn't played the fight to his own strength. But what was most frustrating about the fight was the fact that GSP having said that he is in the greatest shape of his life, has not done heavy damage to Shields, despite more openings and having the superior striking technique over his American foe. To add insult to injury, Shield's subpar striking has in fact brought cuts to GSP's nose and eye. And at the end of the fight, I was thinking it could've been much better if the main event didn't even happen at all.
As far as my title goes, yes, I deleted GSP in my sports favorites section. I have grown tired of defending GSP fights quite frankly. While I absolutely enjoyed his ass kicking on Fitch and Koscheck, I'm not sure I can say the same thing for the Alves, Hardy (FU gumby) and Shields fight. Make no mistake about it, I still consider GSP as a great MMArtist. Notice I didn't use the word fighter, because I now believe he isn't. For years I have scoffed at this "GSP is an athlete, not a fighter" argument. I thought to myself that GSP really does try to fight to finish and to impress fans, but did not have much opportunity to do so in the previous fights. But I have noticed something that struck me, GSP is very consistent, in the sense that he always leaves the audience expecting for a brutal stoppage, a slick submission, a finish, but almost always fails to deliver.
To GSP, if you're reading this: You're a very rare specimen. You have skill and talent that is very hard to find. You have the looks and the body that any man would ask for. Please live up to your optimum potential, as I'm noticing a pattern here. Trying is one thing, being able to deliver is another. I'll continue to be a fan, but for the meantime, I think I'm gonna have to stop being your biggest fan.