Originally posted on The Sports Post  |  Last updated 5/2/13
  The majority of the MMA fan nation is sick of Georges St. Pierre. It doesn’t matter that he has defended the UFC welterweight title more times than anyone in history and defeated a whole slew of incredibly talented competitors in the process. Georges St. Pierre refuses to make finishing his opponents a top priority and has not finished a fight since 2009. His inability to inflict a maximum amount of damage has convinced a vast amount of people that his performances are not worthy of the legendary status he has subsequently achieved. Someone needs to beat him and remind the world that efficient wrestling can only keep one in the spotlight for so long. The masses want to see him lose and the next challenger in line may very well have what it takes to complete this seemingly impossible mission. Not just because he has the power to knock someone out cold with one punch, but also because, judging by George St. Pierre’s last performance, the welterweight champion may finally be fading. GSP is not an expert stand-up fighter, and we’ve seen him get hit before. He is, however, a master wrestler who has perfected the ability to take any striker out of his element at will. Yet we saw Georges do two things in his fight against Nick Diaz that we haven’t seen him do since he established himself as the revolutionary athlete he is today. In the later rounds of last March’s twenty five-minute clash, the undisputed king of conditioning seemed to show signs of fatigue and even sluggishness as he grinded out his sixth consecutive decision win. GSP’s incredible cardio has repeatedly proved that an unbreakable gas tank is the key to neutralizing any attack. It’s safe to say that the primary reason Georges was able to avoid Diaz’s dangerous punching barrages was because the challenger was too tired to push forward after spending so much time grappling with the champion on the ground. However, in the last two rounds of the fight, Nick Diaz was able to stuff a couple of Georges’ take downs, as they didn’t come with the same driving force that has taken the most accomplished of wrestlers off their feet. Then, when the two tied up in the clinch a few times, Georges looked as if he was just lazily holding onto Nick and almost resting while Diaz landed some hard body shots. Rather than immediately pushing or pulling Diaz down, Georges spent a significant amount of time leaning on his opponent, using Nick’s own weight to hold himself up. It is incredibly uncharacteristic of St. Pierre to appear that he is tired at any point of a match or let anyone resist his takedowns. His endurance and take downs are his two greatest weapons. One could go as far as to say that if Nick Diaz was as well-conditioned for this fight as he was in his prime, he could have used these opportunities to unload upon Georges, who wouldn’t have the energy to counter before it was too late. Undoubtedly the greatest weapon of upcoming opponent Johny Hendricks is his powerful left hand. Much like the way he has handled every other challenger who is dangerous on the feet, Georges will most definitely try to totally eliminate the chances of Hendricks using his left hand by putting him on his back as much as possible. Hendricks has also never been in a five-round fight, so Georges will use this to his advantage as well by dragging the contest into the championship rounds. Let’s say the scenario we saw in the Diaz fight happens with Johny Hendricks. Georges gets tired, loses that extra surge in his take downs and finds himself resting up against Johny when they tie up. Diaz is not a wrestler, so he was only able to defend a few of GSP’s take downs late in the fight. Hendricks, on the other hand, is a wrestler, so we can bet that as long as he isn’t more tired than Georges at this point, he may very well be able to defend all of the take downs that come his way in the later rounds. The sight of Nick slipping his legs out of Georges’ grasps made many spectators immediately think of Hendricks repeatedly being able to do the same thing and following the escape with a knock out left hand. We can also assume that regardless of how tired he is; Johny will recklessly launch his signature punch at Georges if he is to spend as little as five seconds doing nothing inside the clinch. When St. Pierre faced Nick Diaz, he proved that not all of his take downs have the power of a locomotive and he can get tired enough to remain inactive when jockeying for position on the feet. More importantly, he proved that he’s human and is subject to fatigue after three rounds of strenuous wrestling. Unless Georges somehow returns to his old self come his next fight, Hendricks will have plenty of opportunities to evade the faded champion’s control late in the bout and find a home for a history-making KO.
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