Georges St. Pierre: A Dominant Champion

by Ryan McCarthy, BBM Staff Writer

Georges St. Pierre, widely regarded as one of MMA's greatest fighters and the most dominant Welterweight champion in UFC history, announced his retirement from the sport on Thursday afternoon.

Georges St. Pierre lands a kick on Johnny Hendricks at UFC 167. Is St. Pierre the greatest MMA fighter of all time? (Photo Credit: Esther Lin/Sportsfile)

St. Pierre made his MMA debut on January 25, 2002 in the UCC Welterweight division with a TKO victory over Ivan Menjivar. In his second fight as a pro, he won the UCC Welterweight championship with an armbar submission over Justin Bruckmann. He would remain undefeated through his first seven fights, including his UFC debut in a decision win over Karo Parisyan at UFC 46.

St. Pierre earned a shot at the vacant UFC Welterweight title at UFC 50, but lost to Matt Hughes due to an armbar submission. He won his next six matches, including wins over Frank Trigg and BJ Penn, to earn a shot at Hughes’ title at UFC 65. St. Pierre would not be denied as he pummeled Hughes to a TKO in the second round to win the title. Shockingly, he lost the title at UFC 69 to Matt Serra, an 11-1 underdog, after a TKO in the first round. That loss would be his last in the UFC.

St. Pierre defeated Hughes again at UFC 70 to win Hughes’ interim title and then avenged the loss to  Serra at UFC 83 with a TKO win the second round in front a raucous Bell Centre to unify the title. He successfully defended the Welterweight title on nine consecutive occasions before vacating the title after UFC 167 in 2013. Four years later, he jumped up two weight classes to face Michael Bisping for the Middleweight title at UFC 217. St. Pierre had a classic performance against Bisping, submitting him with a rear naked choke to win the match and became the fourth fighter to become a multi-division champion.

St. Pierre vacated the title a month later due to an ulcerative colitis diagnosis. Many wondered if he would ever come back to fight even after admitting that he had recovered from UC, but he left little doubt after announcing his retirement today. He finishes his MMA career with a 26-2 fight record, eight wins by knockout and six by submission.

Statistically, St. Pierre is one of the most dominant fighters in UFC history. Take a look at these Striking statistics: he’s among the all-time UFC leaders in Significant Strikes Landed (1,313 - 5th place all time), Significant Strike Defense (73.1% - 2nd all time), Strikes Absorbed per Minute (1.45 – 4th all time), and is far and away the all-time leader in Total Strikes Landed (2,591). His Grappling statistics are just as impressive: he is the all-time leader in Takedowns with 90 and among the top ten in Takedown Accuracy (73.8 – 3rd) and Submission Attempts (24 – T-6th).

St. Pierre dominated the UFC Welterweight division with little to no elaboration. What he lacked in flash, he made up for with execution and efficiency. There was no social media trolling and little to no trash talking from St. Pierre. He talked the talk and walked the walk.

And that character made St. Pierre a great champion, perhaps the greatest of all-time.

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