As many, I’ve been a big fan of Georges St. Pierre’s for years. The first time Rush came to my attention was in his 2004 UFC debut at UFC 46, when he defeated Karo Parisyan via unanimous decision.
Inclusive of his first outing, the current welterweight champion has gone 19 & 2 in the division, is on an 11 fight winning streak and has been champion since 2008 (2007 if you count the interim belt). The only other man in the sport that could claim better numbers and a more impressive record (right now) would be the middleweight champion, Anderson Silva.
Of his 19 wins in the promotion 8 of them have been by way of stoppage (5 TKOs’ & 3 submissions). The rest have been by decision. Most importantly the champs last 6 fights have all been decision victories. The last time Rush stopped an opponent was in 2009 (UFC 94), when an exhausted and battered BJ Penn’s corner conceded the fight at the end of round 4 of the bout.
Short of that match and a tacit acknowledgment that the Koscheck fight “should” have been stopped by the ring doctor due to Josh’s broken orbital bone, the champ has continued to turn in a workman-like performances in up-holding his belt, yet in doing so, he has failed to "impress" both his fans and his detractors.
Many have put GSP’s lack of finish down to timidity post his loss to Matt Serra in 2007 (UFC 69). Those that cite the fight will claim that the champ had his jaw tested that night and didn’t like the results. Subsequently, he’s been “gun shy” ever since.
As an ardent fan I know this to be factually incorrect, because “The Terror’s” punch clipped Rush behind the ear and not on the jaw. It was his equilibrium which gave, not his chin.
Regardless, the reality of it is and for whatever reason, GSP hasn’t finished a fight in 4 years.
So the question becomes, why?
For me, I have to put it down to the coaching and particularly his ground coaching. One would think, that for an athlete who spends as much time on the ground as he does, Rush would have become better at it and more decisive. However, he has not.
In terms of his stand-up, although solid, is not stellar and he’s never exhibited power. He has zero Kos’.
So, as the champ himself has spoken of this issue and his frustration with it, what do you see as the solution to the problem?
If it were up to me and I could pick anyone to train him for his upcoming bout with power slugger and #1 contender Johnny Hendricks, then I’d bring in a new striking coach in the person of Chuck Liddell and a new ground coach as well and either Robert Drysdale, Eddie Bravo or Roger Gracie.
What would you do to bring back GSP’s finish?