Photos from Al Bello/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Over at the SB Nation MMA mothership, Luke asked if Georges St. Pierre was supposed to lose at UFC 129. When I read the headline, I pictured the emeritus in his tighty-whiteys and tin foil hat, mashing away at his keyboard about some half-baked conspiracy theory that Jon Snowden had whispered in his ear.
Fortunately, I found that Luke hadn't gone and lost his damn mind.
Instead, he reasoned that a doctor would have stopped the bout had he (or she) overheard St. Pierre's complaining (or whining, to some philistines) about losing sight in his left eye. He sums up the point as such:
To answer the question put forth in this headline: yes, Jake Shields should've been declared the winner. I take my hat off to the champion for being hard, but he fought against his own personal safety past the tipping point. Shields was the rightful winner even if the GSP team is relieved the fight did not come to a medical screeching halt.
Shields is the "rightful" winner? Since Luke is playing a game of "What if?", it's important that we not disregard the fact that Herb Dean missed Shields' flagrant eye-smashing. (And whether it was intentional or not, Shields came forward with his palm fully extended at GSP's face. That's foul worthy.) If Shields is the "rightful" winner because of doctoral negligence, then GSP is the ultimate "rightful" winner due to inability to continue at the hands of an injury caused by a foul.
Speaking of the eyepoke, it may have gone unnoticed by Dean (who had a bad angle), but not by everyone. Firas Zahabi spoke to MMA Weekly:
"When he threw that open handed hook, that was recorded, I complained to the ref immediately. I saw it, I completely saw it. I complained about it immediately to the referee that it was an open hand swipe to the face," Zahabi described.
"I don't think it was intentional, but I mean it still happened, and he should get a warning and it should be kept in mind that he's punching with an open hand. It's not right, it's very dangerous."
For all you young fighters out there, keep your fists shut when you're throwing punches.