If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
It’s a pretty simple philosophy, and when it comes to Georges St-Pierre, it should almost be a way of life.
Since a 2007 upset loss to Matt Serra, St-Pierre has been the picture of consistency. Nine straight victories while only losing a couple of rounds along the way, and a streak of dominance rarely seen in the UFC.
But when you reach such great heights of excellence, there are always going to be detractors that will criticize even the greatest of athletes. In St-Pierre’s case it’s been his inability to finish opponents despite decimating them for the better part of 25-minutes each time he steps into the cage.
As great as St-Pierre has been however, he doesn’t have the finishing rate like a fighter such as Anderson Silva or even UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones when it comes to title fights.
In his last six performances, St-Pierre has gone a perfect 6-0 but finished only one opponent, B.J. Penn, and he retired on the stool unable to make it out for a fifth and final round.
So as he heads into his return bout at UFC 154 after more than a year away from the sport, St-Pierre has been listening to the criticism, and believes some of the points made have merit behind them.
“I need to be more opportunistic and I listen to the critics, and I want to be more opportunistic and be jumping on more opportunity when I finish, that’s what I’ve been working on a lot,” St-Pierre told MMAWeekly.com.
“It’s important the critics are there to make me better. I don’t think of it as a negative, I think of it as a positive thing.”
Still it’s hard to argue with St-Pierre’s performance, even if he’s not putting opponents away with flashy knockouts or bone crunching submissions. The French-Canadian has taken out the best of the best at 170lbs for years, and for the most part made it look fairly easy.
Maybe that’s what’s so hard to accept about St-Pierre’s inability to finish, or unwillingness to take those chances, is because he is so talented and so naturally gifted that it should be so easy to land the perfect punch or catch the right submission.
But is St-Pierre really willing to change a style that’s earned him six straight title defenses and a spot as the face of the UFC?
He says he’s becoming more opportunistic, but out of all of his past fights, St-Pierre only points to one that he was really not happy with his performance.
“I’m very happy with the Jon Fitch fight, maybe the one fight I’m not happy with is my last one with Jake Shields,” said St-Pierre. “I didn’t look good, I’m sure I could have done better and when I finished that fight I was not happy.
“B.J. Penn, I finished. B.J. Penn he didn’t come back for the fifth round, if he would have given me five more minutes, I guarantee I would have finished him.”
No matter what St-Pierre does against Carlos Condit at UFC 154 short of a first round finish it will likely put the critics back in action, wondering why one of the most dominant champions in UFC history isn’t more dominant.
St-Pierre says he’s listening, but more likely he’s appeasing the audience and telling them what they want to hear. The truth is St-Pierre’s supremacy has been flawless, and it’s not likely anything will be changing any time soon.