Modern Day GladiatorsPosted on December 10, 2010, 09:56 AM by Anton Gurevich
Gladiators in ancient Rome were slaves, who fought to please the local crowd. Semmy Schilt and Georges St. Pierre are surely not slaves, but they are still a perfect example of modern day Gladiators. They enter the arena to please the emotional and material needs of fans, promoters and who's not. And just like in ancient Rome, sometimes it's the Emperor, and sometimes it's the crowd who ask to satisfy their needs. They may be competing in different sports (not speaking about weight categories), but there's a lot of analogy in their current status. Some people will call it disrespect, some will say it's a pure ignorance, and some will try to explain that it's just a product of a well-timed PR machine. But still, the fact is there. Both Semmy Schilt and Georges St. Pierre will sharpen their swords and wear their armor, going to one of the most important battles of their career. It's a battle for honor and legacy. A battle to prove everyone once again that they deserve their titles and position.
Despite being the reigning K-1 Heavyweight and (four time) WGP Champion, Semmy Schilt was not featured on poster of this Saturday's K-1 2010 WGP Final. Instead, K-1 decided put Alistair Overeem on the cover, a fighter has not won even a single K-1 trophy in his career. Overeem also did huge promotional work for FEG in Japan, appearing on numerous TV shows and promos. It looks like everyone forgot who's the reigning Champion of K-1 WGP.
Schilt is one of the greatest K-1 fighters of all time. Second consecutive victory of the most prestigious trophy in the world of Kickboxing will earn Supersized Samurai the deserved superstar status around the world. But more than anything, it will force the K-1 to recognize Schilt as someone who deserves the right spotlight, stolen by the more-marketable Alistair Overeem.
Georges St. Pierre on the other hand, gets all the deserved recognition. He travels to Philippines, does TUF and trains mascots some self-defense tricks. What St. Pierre lacks is respect from a certain part of Mixed Martial Arts community, and most of all, from his opponents. Despite beating not "some of the top", but "top opponents" in his division (including the somehow 'forgotten' victory over BJ Penn), some people still taking away credit from his victories, calling St. Pierre "boring" and saying that he's afraid to trade punches.
Even Josh Koscheck, yes, the same Josh Koscheck who refused to stand against Paul Daley, was knocked out by Paulo Thiago and destroyed by Thiago Alves, is presented as someone who can knock out GSP standing. And that's where GSP's most important battle this Saturday. A KO victory over Koscheck will shut a lot mouths, and prove everyone why "Rush" is currently ranked as #1 P4P Fighter not only on LowKick.com, but on many other media outlets. It's GSP's most important battle since the second fight against Matt Serra. With his hand raised on Saturday night, GSP will prove he's the Undisputed King of this sport, especially after Anderson Silva's unimpressive performance against Chael Sonnen and Fedor Emelianenko's defeat against Fabricio Werdum.
This way or another, we expect nothing but fireworks this evening. Whether they manage to defend their titles or not, Georges St. Pierre and Semmy Schilt are true giants of combat sports. They are a Modern day Gladiators, who already earned their place in history, but still need that one battle to prove critics wrong.