Long-time welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre has taken the sport to an entirely new level, and has redefined the word “dominance”. With a record of 23-2, and having avenged his losses by finishing the only two fighters to ever defeat him, “Rush” is a true champion. Known for his explosiveness and natural athleticism, the Canadian uses crisp technical striking, overpowering top control and wrestling skills to dominate opponents. GSP might not be the most talented fighter at every single discipline, but he is truly the most intelligent fighter inside the cage, using all his tools to consistently earn victories. Owning current UFC records in takedowns landed, takedown accuracy, significant strikes landed, and total strikes landed, St. Pierre also owns victories over legitimate contenders such as Carlos Condit, Jake Shields, Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck, Dan Hardy, Thiago Alves, B.J. Penn, Matt Hughes, Matt Serra and Sean Sherk. When all is said and done, and the Tri-Star warrior has hung up his gloves, St. Pierre will go down as one of greatest MMA fighters of all time.
June 19, 2004 St. Pierre vs. Hieron
23-year-old St. Pierre was fresh off his UFC debut victory of Karo Parisyan, and was set to take on Jay Hieron, who was making his UFC debut. Heiron was undefeated entering the bout, but St. Pierre made quick work of him, dropping him multiple times with accurate strikes before finishing him off with punches in the first round. It was the first time UFC fans were able to see St. Pierre’s striking skills.
August 20, 2005 St. Pierre vs. Trigg
St. Pierre was riding a two fight-win streak with wins over Dave Strasser and Jason Miller after losing to Hughes, the 17-pound king at the time in his first UFC title shot. Trigg, meanwhile, was fresh off a loss to Hughes. Both men were looked at as #2 and #3 in the division behind Hughes. St. Pierre caught Trigg with a big left hook in the opening frame of the bout, which forced Trigg to shoot, but St. Pierre was too strong, turned the tables, and secured a takedown of his own. St. Pierre dominated the fight using smothering grappling skills and brutal ground and pound. He secured the rear naked choke and forced Trigg to submit at the end of the first round.
November 18, 2006 St. Pierre vs. Hughes 2
St. Pierre was on a five-fight win streak and hadn’t lost a fight since his first title fight against Hughes. After a victory over Penn, St. Pierre was offered the rematch. Hughes defeated St. Pierre by armbar in the first fight, and St. Pierre was hungry for revenge. Hughes was a run of his own with six consecutive victories, which solidified him as #1 at 170 pounds. St. Pierre dominated the first round using versatile striking skills and solid takedown defense, and he badly hurt and nearly finished Hughes before the bell rang signaling the end of the round. In the middle of Round 2, St. Pierre landed a head-kick that dropped Hughes, and he followed up, finishing him with punches and elbows. The fight shocked the MMA world, and the newly crowned champion showed just how dynamic he was.
April 19, 2008 St. Pierre vs. Serra 2
After failing to defend his title by losing to Serra back in 2007, St. Pierre earned two victories in a row over Koshceck and Hughes, and was offered a rematch against the man who took his belt. St. Pierre vowed to never make an unnecessary mistake again, and claimed the loss to Serra made him a better fighter. At UFC 83, he looked to prove it. St. Pierre dominated Serra using superior grappling skills mixed with clean strikes. At the end of the second round, St. Pierre delivered an onslaught of brutal ground and pound and vicious knees to the body, forcing referee Yves Lavigne to stop the fight. The fight showed a mature, explosive, and extremely dangerous St. Pierre. St. Pierre has lived up to his word and is yet to lose a fight.
January 31, 2009 St. Pierre vs. Penn 2
In the first match between the two, Penn was able to land some devastating strikes, badly hurting and bloodying St. Pierre. St. Pierre was able to compose himself and use takedowns to earn a close split decision victory. Before the rematch, Penn made it a mission to let people know that he was the real fighter and he was ready to fight to the death, and vowed to defeat the Canadian. At UFC 94, Penn got his chance to prove it. Unfortunately for the Hawaiian, St. Pierre was too explosive and athletic, as he brutally beat down Penn using vicious ground and pound and accurate strikes. By the fourth round, Penn’s corner had seen enough and called for the stoppage. Penn seemed beaten down and hopeless, and St. Pierre cemented his greatness.
November 17, 2012 St. Pierre vs. Condit
Condit was riding a five-fight win streak, and was fresh off a controversial decision victory over perennial welterweight contender Nick Diaz. He was known for his technically ferocious fighting style, damaging opponents wherever the fight went. “The Natural Born Killer” felt he was ready to take on the champ, a fight he longed to participate in for years. St. Pierre was coming off nearly a one-year layoff due to an ACL injury on his right knee which required surgery. Many felt Condit’s chances would be raised due to St. Pierre’s absence and potential ring rust. That wasn’t the case, and St. Pierre used superior grappling skills to control and batter Condit with ground and pound. Despite being badly hurt by a head-kick in the third round, St. Pierre overpowered Condit for the majority of the fight and earned the unanimous decision. St. Pierre once again cemented his greatness by bouncing back from physical adversity, and defined his legacy as the greatest welterweight champ in UFC.