Georges St-Pierre’s Legacy in UFC

The most wins in UFC title fights (13). The most takedowns in UFC history (90). The most consecutive title defenses in UFC welterweight history (nine). The most wins by decision in UFC history (12). One of six UFC fighters to ever win titles in two weight divisions. Georges St-Pierre has had arguably the greatest career of any fighter in mixed martial arts history.

GSP submitting Bisping.

The Canadian native, Georges St-Pierre (also known as ‘GSP’), announced his retirement on Thursday (February 21st), at a press conference at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Québec, Canada. The announcement came after only having fought once in the past five and a half years, most recently in November of 2017 when he defeated Michael Bisping to claim the middleweight title.

GSP made the decision to retire after he and the UFC failed to reach an agreement on a potential bout versus Khabib Nurmagomedov. According to him, the UFC wanted him to sign a multi-fight deal, but St-Pierre only wished to sign to fight once, and then assess his future afterwards. GSP wanted to fight Khabib because “the most exciting thing, also the scariest thing to do, is to fight an opponent who seems invincible. And Khabib is that guy right now.” GSP also mentioned that Khabib is an opponent who could “elevate my legacy”.  St-Pierre has accomplished virtually everything there is to accomplish in the sport of mixed martial arts. There is essentially no reason for him to fight against an opponent who would not increase his already-legendary status.

GSP at the post-fight press conference after defeating Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 in 2013.

GSP also decided to retire because he wanted to leave the sport of mixed martial arts on his own “terms and timing”, as stated in his retirement post on Instagram. He also went on to say that he “believe(s) that the best way to pass the test of time is to remain ahead of it”. This is in reference to him retiring while still being at the top of the UFC. GSP’s last 12 fights of his career have all been title fights. He won every single one of these bouts.

Throughout Georges St-Pierre’s illustrious career, he earned a professional record of 26-2. His two career losses came against Matt Hughes in 2004, and against Matt Serra in 2007. GSP later went on to rematch each of these opponents and not only did he avenge his losses, but he did so by finishing them in the second round and first round, respectively. As a result, GSP has defeated every single man who he has faced off against, at some point in his career.

GSP’s first professional mixed martial arts fight came in January of 2002, with his first fight in the UFC coming in January of 2004 at UFC 46. He first won the welterweight title in 2006 at UFC 65 and became a two-division champion in November of 2017 at UFC 217, which has now become his final fight. Some of the notable opponents GSP has defeated include Matt Hughes (twice), BJ Penn (twice), Nick Diaz, Michael Bisping, Carlos Condit, Josh Koscheck (twice), and many more.

GSP’s reaction after defeating BJ Penn for the second time at UFC 94.

At one point in GSP’s career, he had won an unreal 33 consecutive rounds, on the official judges’ scorecards, inside the UFC octagon. This remains a UFC record. This ridiculous streak began at UFC 74 and ended at UFC 129 against Jake Shields. The streak lasted for nine consecutive fights, with only one of them not being a title fight. During these nine fights, three of the opponents (Matt Serra, BJ Penn, and Matt Hughes) were former UFC champions. GSP finished three of the nine opponents during this streak and took six of them to a decision. This level of dominance has still never been seen before inside the UFC octagon.

Congrats on the spectacular career, GSP, your reign of supremacy was one of a kind.

 

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