While Anderson Silva has been getting slammed for not finishing opponents, UFC’s other pound-for-pound king has faced similar scrutiny.
Welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has also been criticized for not putting away his last two opponents, Thiago Alves and most recently, Dan Hardy. St-Pierre dominated both fights but each went the full five rounds.
At a recent Q&A session with fans, St-Pierre said he makes every effort to finish his opponents but it’s difficult to satisfy all MMA fans, regardless of the outcome.
“I think there are two kinds of fans,” St-Pierre said. “There are the fans that like only to see a brawl, and there is the type of fans that know the game and know what’s going on. I think for the fans that know what’s going on, I’m talking about the technical aspect, I think they will appreciate those kind of fights.”
Not only is St-Pierre one of the most popular fighters in the world, he’s considered by many to be the top fighter in all of MMA. However, some critics of St-Pierre have described his fighting style as “Lay and Pray,” meaning he takes his opponents down to the ground and simply controls them for five rounds. This was especially evident in St-Pierre’s win over Hardy.
“The thing is, sometimes the fight doesn’t go always like we want to,” St-Pierre said. “In my last fight, for example, two times I tried to finish Dan Hardy, and I came very close. The first round, I had a juji-gatame. I almost popped the arm. In the third round, I had a kimura. If I would have got the finish, nobody would have said nothing about it. It would have been , ‘Oh, what a great win. Georges is great.’
“I give the credit to Dan Hardy. He did the perfect textbook escape, and I did some technical mistakes that didn’t allow me to finish the fight. Of course I’m a little bit disappointed. I like to finish guys, but sometimes fights don’t always go the way we want them to. Next time I will do better.”
While St-Pierre didn’t finish Hardy, one can argue that at least he was busy in that fight, while implementing a well thought-out gameplan. It’s hard to argue the same point for Silva against Damien Maia, as he spent most of the fight dancing around and clowning for the crowd. The results may have been similar but the actions of each fighter were vastly different.