One of the interesting post fight pieces that has popped up after UFC welterweight champ Georges St Pierre‘s recent title defense against Nick Diaz was the very vocal opinion of Bellator Champion Ben Askren. With statements such as St Pierre’s ‘title is there for the taking’ and ‘Nick Diaz did not have the skill set to beat St Pierre, I do’ it isn’t surprising that Askren has earned the vitriol of GSP gans everywhere. But could he be right?
The thought of a Bellator-UFC cross promotion is really unthinkable, so for the immediate future, the two will never meet. It isn’t inconceivable that it could happen in a few years, but what would happen if they met now? Would Askren’s assessment that an elite wrestler with solid cardio could be a problem for St Pierre?
St Pierre has faced wrestlers before. He has taken out both Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck, both of whom were excellent collegiate wrestlers. Earlier in his career he faced down fighters like Sean Sherk and Dave Strasser, who were wretler based fighters. St Pierre’s reputation as a wrestler started with his takedown of Matt Hughes who was then the dominant champion. Stories of him making the Canadian Olympic wrestling team when never having competed further lifted the reputation of his wrestling.
None of the fighters on the list, and it is safe to say, no wrestler in Canada has the credentials or wrestling pedigree of Askren.
Askren believes that St Pierre is not as fiery or motivated as earlier in his career. Askren also saw St Pierre physically tire in the latter rounds of his match with Diaz – he believes a wrestler that applies pressure to St Pierre and makes him work could get him tired again.
It has been a while since anyone even tried to take St Pierre down, but could he withstand the driving, forehead in the chest, never give up takedowns of a fighter like Askren, who combines it with a lot of control and technique in the grappling?
Well we are going to find out, because GSP’s next opponent fits that mold, and that is NCAA wrestler and UFC stand out Johny Hendrix.
Like Hendricks, Askren would be an underdog to GSP if they fought now. But ASkren is the first to say it publically – the inevitable march of time is going to catch St Pierre, and it will catch him sooner rather than later.