Most great fighters, in their early years of fighting tend to show hints of monster potential. In Georges St. Pierre's professional mma debut against Ivan Menjivar (a very tough opponent as many people may have just realized) he won a fight in one round by verbal submission, and by no means was it a convincing victory (GSP was put on his back mutliple times, which is a rarity for him). This young and athletic GSP that nobody knew at the time had gotten a win under his belt and nothing more.
Soon after this fight, he faced Justin Bruckmann in another UCC matchup, and this time, he immediately took Bruckmann down, and patiently passed. He was maturing before our eyes, and it was this fight that GSP was leaving an impression on the fans not just from his freakish athleticism, but rather his undying will as he gave his opponent no time to recover or even rest. St. Pierre grounded and pounded until he found an armbar opening and immediately took advantage, winning by Submission.
This significant improvement from one fight to the next, was a sign of a future star. Even in his next fight he man handled Travis Galbraith, and earned a TKO in which his opponent believed the fight was still going on when GSP went to pay his post victory respects.
GSP is a difficult fighter to relate anyone to because he is so uniquely well rounded, yet a young training partner of his has caught my (as well as many UFC fan's) attention. Rory MacDonald.
MacDonald suffered a loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 115. Despite his impressive cool, calm, and collected attitude as he walked through a giant arena (and would later approach a baseball stadium) full of his own fans, it ended up being a twisted night, and it was extremely frustrating to watch. For two rounds the 20 year old MacDonald controlled "The Natural Born Killer" Condit and executed some excellent takedowns.
In addition to his superior wrestling, Rory was winning the standup as well, and for the two seconds he was on his back, he pulled off a textbook sweep and reversal. It was all the young Canadian's fight until he got caught in the third round, and attempted a takedown in desperation following getting rocked. Condit, aware he had lost both previous rounds knew he had to finish the fight, and with the extremely questionable stoppage with 10 seconds left (MacDonald took punishment for the entire last two minutes while composed enough to stay alive and nothing changed when it was stopped), he did.
As disappointing as it is to see such a great prospect lose like that, MacDonald came out this loss 10x better of a fighter after 10 months of unmatched hard work, as he dominated Nate Diaz at UFC 129. This amazing performance proved to me that MacDonald is worthy of any contender in the 170 pound division (with due time, the kid is 21 with 12 fights). His imposing of his will, dominant wrestling (with an unheard of three consecutive giant suplexes), and his veteran-like poise; which kept him completely level headed in front of 55,000 of his hometown fans is the recipe for success that is extremely rare. It is guys like this that make the sport so great, and become champions. It only makes sense that this guy trains with GSP, right?
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