1. GSP vs. Shields
Georges St. Pierre once again showed why he has a stranglehold on the UFC's welterweight division. He constantly shuts down opponents. He solidified his position as the number two pound for pound fighter in world. And his legacy continues to grow.
GSP used his superior grappling base to completely dishearten Jake Shields. So much so, that Shields just gave up on getting the takedown. And what were viewers left with?
A mediocre striking battle.
A thing of beauty it was not. To say Jake Shields stand-up is unrefined would be a compliment, yet he managed to push GSP for five rounds in a striking battle. And even worse, this event was one good main event away from being a classic. Every fight managed to surprise. As a fan, you could ask for little else. But that was all undone by the main event. And that's a damn shame.
I realize that GSP's left eye was severely injured, but that's part of the sport. It's just something fighters deal with; win or lose. Yet the fact remains: another title defense, another decision.
Things start to get bad when you no longer hope a fighter wins a fight, but you pencil in a win for said fighter. What comes into question is whether he will finish his opponent or not. That's a real head scratcher. A fighter who reaches the pinnacle of combative fighting, so much so that he comes in as 4:1 favorite against just about anyone he faces. And those odds always seem to be dead on, yet debates flare on about whether the champ is capable of stopping a challenger whose skill he far exceeds. The best analogy/description I have of GSP is this: he has the skill set of a Manny Pacquiao, but the fighting style of a Winky Wright.
He wants to be the best fighter in MMA history, although he can still accomplish that amazing feat, the road he is currently on will not take him there.
2. To the GSP diehards
I don't dislike GSP. I have nothing against him. I do feel the criticism he receives is warranted, and so does he. You can't dominate challengers for 5 rounds (excluding Shields fight here) yet not get the finish. It really defies logic. Are the UFC's top welterweights tough? Yes. Does GSP go for the finish? Yes. Do I think he will go down as the best fighter ever? No, but I hope he does. And in all truth, killer instinct should be required in a sport where getting the stop is the primary goal for both fighters.
I routed for GSP to finish Shields. I once said his eyes were as pure and brilliant as midnight snow bathed in lunar shine. I respect his character more than his skill. But if you're built like a Maserati then you simply have to take off. It's really that simple. With great praise/reverence comes the ever present need to live up to almost unreal expectations. You want to be the best? Then you have to prove it every time you fight.
3. Super Fight?
I really don't think GSP wants to fight Anderson Silva. And the reluctance makes sense. If A. Silva wants to prove he is the best, he shouldn't be calling...