Georges St-Pierre has been the UFC Welterweight Champion since April of 2008, uninterrupted from the time he unified the title against Matt Serra. Since then, he’s defended the title seven times, tying Matt Hughes for the most title defenses in the welterweight division. Next to Anderson Silva, he is the longest-reigning champion in the history of the UFC. This Saturday, March 16, 2013, St-Pierre has the opportunity to surpass Hughes in the record books in terms of title defenses when he takes on Nick Diaz in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. St-Pierre is the odds-on favorite to win, as he has been his entire title run, so it obviously makes sense that Dana and the boys at ZUFFA have scheduled the fight to take place in Canada. But after checking off the statements above from the “stating the obvious” list, one opinion that the general public isn’t voicing is that St-Pierre needs lose already, for the sake of an ever-evolving sport.
Every era must come to an end, just as a new era must begin. Whether or not the GSP era will end this Saturday is anyone’s guess, but with welterweights like Johny Hendricks, Rory MacDonald and Demian Maia, it’s beginning to appear less and less likely that “Rush” will last another year as champion.
After taking over a year off due to injury and recovery, St-Pierre looked a tad bit slower and not quite himself in his most recent title defense against Carlos Condit. In fact, late in the third round, Condit had GSP in serious trouble, the most trouble we’ve seen in him in since his knockout loss to Serra. That may be the harbinger of what is to come in the coming months for St-Pierre. To his credit, “Rush” managed to hang on and finish the round on top. If you would’ve tuned in at the end of that third round, you wouldn’t even have known St-Pierre was in trouble earlier.
The point I am trying to make is that the time has come for St-Pierre to lose his title, and it seems as if that time is rapidly approaching, using his recent bout with Condit as a measuring stick.
The welterweight division is too stacked to have “Rush” go another year as champion. Maybe Diaz will be the man to take the title or perhaps it will be one of the fighters mentioned above. One thing that has been made crystal clear: the injury and time off has deeply affected St-Pierre, and chances are that he’ll lose his title in 2013.
PHOTO CREDIT: UFC