Color me unimpressed with Georges St. Pierre's performance last night at UFC 129, or should I say... "I am not impressed by your performance". The UFC welterweight champion did exactly as predicted by nearly every single MMA writer and fan close to the sport. He defeated Jake Shields by utilizing a strong jab-overhand right combination while maintaining a safe distance to avoid Shields' historically weak shot. It worked brilliantly, creating a situation that looked hopeless by the second round of action. When Shields asked teammate Gilbert Melendez in between rounds whether he should pull guard yet, it was a sure sign of the end for Shields.
But Shields wasn't completely ineffective. His atrocious striking was effective enough to damage St. Pierre's eye, causing some concern for the champion as the fight dragged on. Unfortunately, Shields could not capitalize, getting outworked by the champion for a majority of the fight and never truly endangering St. Pierre's status as world champion.
In the aftermath, the question was asked by Lorenzo Fertitta whether fans would like to see Georges St. Pierre vs. Nick Diaz or Georges St. Pierre vs. Anderson Silva. Our own Brent Brookhouse opined that the St. Pierre we witnessed last night may not have a chance against Silva:
But again, Jake Shields was able to get through five rounds on the feet with GSP and even have some moments of his own. I can't help but feel that the much more dangerous and much larger Anderson Silva would put the St. Pierre we saw last night to sleep.
I can't help but think the same thing. If Shields, who has horrific striking acumen, can somehow win a couple of rounds from St. Pierre, what would a rangier striker like Anderson Silva do to St. Pierre at a higher weight? That isn't to say the fight can't happen. By all indications, it would be a super fight for the ages, and business would be good.
But I can't look past Nick Diaz and the intrigue he brings to a showdown with Georges St. Pierre. St. Pierre's hesitance and willingness to sit back and jab opponents to death is a style that isn't winning any fans. He needs opponents who are fearless and couldn't care less whether they are on their back. Nick Diaz is the epitome of that style of fighter.
I expect the counter argument to be something along the lines of... St. Pierre will take down Nick Diaz and hold him there. It isn't an unfathomable outcome to that fight, but Diaz does present problems on the ground for St. Pierre. Would St. Pierre avoid the ground game with Diaz as he did with Shields? If so, it could be a very interesting encounter.
The UFC has the perfect opportunity to challenge St. Pierre and possibly capitalize on the popularity of Nick Diaz. While he is far from a pay-per-view draw, Diaz has the fan support and personality to get fans excited. Instead of throwing Nick Diaz in against wrestlers like Jon Fitch and squandering his potential, the UFC needs to capitalize on the opportunity now. Nick Diaz is the perfect opponent for St. Pierre, a man who could strike with St. Pierre, eat his hardest punch, and work harder in the fourth round than he did in the first. He's a man who could beat St. Pierre, and the time to pull the trigger is now.
More Bloody Elbow UFC 129 Results & Analysis after the fold...
- Georges St. Pierre Holds Back UFC's Canadian Coming Out Party at UFC 129 - Jonathan Snowden
- Is Steven Seagal Secretly a Martial Arts Genius? - Jonathan Snowden
- UFC 129 Post-Fight Press Conference Video
- Play by Play and Live Commentary - Brent Brookhouse
- Georges St. Pierre Slips Past Jake Shields
- Jose Aldo Holds Off Mark Hominick
- Lyoto Machida Clouts Randy Couture
- Vladimir Matyushenko Mops the Floor With Jason Brilz
- Ben Henderson Whips Up On Mark Bocek
- Rory MacDonald Ragdolls Nate Diaz
- Jake Ellenberger Brutalizes Sean Pierson
- Claude Patrick Edges Daniel Roberts
- Pablo Garza Submits Yves Jabouin
- John Makdessi KO's Kyle Watson With Spinning Back Fist
- Jason MacDonald Triangles Ryan Jensen
- Ivan Menjivar Clocks Charlie Valencia
- Zuffa and the UFC Finally Hit It Big
- UFC Hits Home Run With UFC 129 Live Experience
- Great Judging Should Be Applauded Sometimes