The Super Bowl, the Academy Awards and GSP. Playing a little bit of Jeopardy in this week’s blog we are looking for “Things That Don’t Live Up to the Hype”. George St Pierre is very talented, but man has he become boring. I was bored in his fight with Dan Hardy, I was bored in his fight with Josh Koshcheck and I was bored again Saturday night in his win over Jake Shields. St Pierre is widely considered the best pound for pound fighter in the world, but he’s currently ranked #211 on the list of fighters I will pay to see. GSP seems to have lost his killer instinct, now instead doing just enough to win for the fourth straight fight. Late Saturday night there were rumors of a match up between St Pierre and Strikeforce Welterweight Champ Nick Diaz.
I’m a Diaz fan, and was ringside for his brawls with KJ Noons and Paul Daley. While I’d like to believe that Diaz has the style to bring out the best in GSP, I’m not sure I would bet on it. MMA may have the most fickle fan base of any sport, and I am right at the front of that group. I don’t care who you are, if you’re boring I don’t want to see you fight. I quote Scott Coker all the time, but he was not the first to say “You can do more for your career in a losing effort, than you can winning a boring fight.” I could not agree more. Jon Fitch, Jake Shields and now GSP are all guys with outstanding credentials yet treat fights like they are a chess match. Move…move…move…counter…move…counter….(bell rings) YAWN!!
Not every fight will bring the excitement and drama of the co-main event which saw Jose Aldo retain his UFC Featherweight championship defeating Mark Hominick in a great fight. Aldo was effective early using leg kicks, and caused a major hematoma on the side of Hominick’s head by delivering elbow after elbow. Two different times it looked like the fight may be stopped when the blood gathering under the skin blew up to the size of a baseball. Hominick was allowed to continue, and closed out the final minutes on top of the champ reigning down punches trying to steal the victory. Aldo looked exhausted, but was able to hang on and retain his belt. Hominick may have left the cage without the belt and looking a lot worse than he had when he walked in 30 minutes earlier, but he left to a standing ovation from fans who admired his heart, courage, and all around toughness. The fight also caught the eye of UFC President Dana White who gave Aldo and Hominick a bonus of $129,000 for fight of the night.
I also understand that night every fight can have “OH S**T!!” moments like we saw throughout UFC 129. From Rory McDonald throwing Nate Diaz around the ring like a rag doll, Lyoto Machida uses a front kick to end the career of Randy Couture, Ivan Menjivar breaking the nose of Charlie Valencia with a brutal elbow or the spinning back-fist John Makdessi used to knockout Kyle Watson. It’s easy for me to armchair quarterback, but C’mon! If 55,000 people came to see you fight, and the guys on the undercard are fighting their hearts out, is it really that much to expect the same from the 3-time Canadian athlete of the year? Save your emails about “his injured eye”. That’s bullshit. Send those to Mark Hominick and see what the response is.
I have seen a lot of concerts in my life, and only twice can I remember the opening act blowing away the headliner, the most recent being John Fogerty who even in his 60’s was amazing. It’s happened 4 straight cards where GSP was in the main event. How interested are you in seeing GSP fight Anderson Silva? Would you pay $55.00 to watch that fight? Would you go to your local bar knowing your tab is going to probably be close to that same $55.00 to watch it? If you asked me either of those questions a year ago I would have said yes, now I’m not so sure. It’s crazy but right now I would want to see who is on the undercard.
I’m sure 99% of the fans who were in attendance left happy, but I wonder if they would pay the same amount of money if they knew the end result. This was no Diaz vs. Daley fight, but we knew that going in. Shields doesn’t have the style, or punching power that make exciting fights, but GSP does. What happened to the GSP who looked so good in wins over BJ Penn and Matt Hughes? It has been more than two years since St Pierre beat up Penn. Since that night in Vegas it has been 4 straight Unanimous Decision wins….boring. Sorry George, I understand that guys in all sports have bad night, but 4 straight bad nights is a problem. Something changed in the mindset of GSP in the time between the Penn fight and his first UD win over Thiago Alves at UFC 100. Maybe that should have been a warning where on the biggest card in UFC history, one of the biggest faces of the company delivered the weakest effort. I also don’t need to hear any more apologies and I don’t need to see any more clips of you turning over the 8 foot high tire. Just go out and fight. I would have never guessed St Pierre would be mentioned along with Jason “Mayhem” Miller as fighters that fans want to see get KO’d, but that was the clear message walking out of the Tilted Kilt. Greg Jackson’s soothing jazz radio station voice in the corner between rounds didn’t help his fighters cause. St Pierre will be a Hall of Famer one day, but will he ever shake that label of being boring? From what we saw Saturday night, it doesn’t look like he is interested in doing so anytime soon.