UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre is one of the most dominant fighters in the world, but he has received a lot of backlash for not being able to finish opponents over the past few years. He's still winning, but there's a belief that he's "fighting to win" and "playing it safe". GSP addressed this in an interview with the Toronto Sun, and he was quite open about it:
"I want to finish because of the criticism."
"I’ve listened to the critics and I want to become more opportunistic."
He then tries to explain why he hasn't been able to finish five out of his last six fights:
"I can make up a bunch of excuses but the truth is I’m fighting the best guys all the time and it’s tough competition. You cannot always win by beautiful fashion. The guy that is in front of me is a very good guy. He’s the No. 1 contender all the time and now I’m fighting the (interim) world champ in Carlos Condit. I’m working a lot more on being more opportunistic and it’s going to pay off I’m sure."
"When I see an opportunity, I don’t need to overthink it and I need to go for it," he says.
"I think that my opponents have become better in time. Sometimes, when you break a guy mentally, he doesn’t fight to win anymore, he fights to not lose and to survive. That minimizes the opportunity for him to be finished. And that’s what’s happening in a lot of my fights and it’s hard to finish a guy who doesn’t fight to win."
He certainly has a point, but I don't think a lot of his detractors are going to buy it. It's pretty clear that guys like Dan Hardy and Josh Koscheck were just fighting to survive, and I think it's hard to fault GSP for not finishing Thiago Alves and Jake Shields considering he got hurt in both bouts. But I'm an admitted GSP fan, so what I say should probably be taken with a grain of salt.
Either way, we'll see if a "new GSP" emerges at UFC 154 on November 17th when he takes on Carlos Condit in a welterweight title unification bout. The Toronto Sun interview also had a fun little segment called "Getting personal with Georges St. Pierre" where they asked him a few personal questions. You can catch that after the jump.
1. If you could play one musical instrument, what would you like to play?
2. What’s the first thing you notice in a lady?
Her eyes…. sorry the smile…yeah, her smile.
3. Who’s the most underrated fighter in the UFC right now?
I think Francis Carmont. He’s gonna win his next fight and he’s going to be taken more seriously and maybe move up for a title shot soon. He’s fighting in Montreal at UFC 154.
4. If you weren’t a fighter, what do you think you would do for a living?
A paleontologist or archeologist.
5. What’s your fast food guilty pleasure?
I like McDonald’s. Three cheeseburgers, French fries, poutine with chicken McNuggets and a big Coca-Cola.