The UFC 137 card scheduled for October 29th at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada suffered a blow when it lost it’s main event. UFC welterweight champion Georges St Pierre was forced to pull out of his title defense against Carlos Condit due to knee injury suffered during training. UFC President Dana White called St Pierre the UFC’s biggest draw at the moment, and he is likely right. However let me be the first to say it, the fading of the GSP star began earlier this year and it continues with this latest news.
St Pierre is on record stating he is looking at a return in late January or February of 2012, that he wants to take his time and not rush a recovery. By all means, he should take the time needed to rehab, but this will mean that there will be close to a year of inactivity, since his last fight now dates back to April when he faced Jake Shields.
Over his last few title defenses St Pierre has earned a reputation for not finishing fights, and generally for fighting safe. A few years back there was huge talk of him putting on weight and facing Anderson Silva, the 185 lb champion in a clash of champions superfight. He was generally considered one of the top 2 pound for pound fighters in the UFC, along with Silva. Many thought him number 1 when Silva appeared flat in a few bouts.
Now, all talk of that superfight has faded, and it is mainly because most people don’t see the recent versions of GSP having a chance against Silva.
Even Dana White recently and subtly bumped GSP down in the pecking order by christening Frankie Edgar the number 2 pound for pound fighter in the world. I wonder where Dana would rate Dominic Cruz, Cain Velasquez and Jon Jones on that list. Is it possible GSP may have dropped out of the top 5 already?
It is hard to knock a guy who has been a dominant and popular champion who has done a lot for the sport, but this injury is also a bad sign. What exactly is the knee injury?
St Pierre was always known as a freak at conditioning, and he was and still is an explosive athlete. But he hurt himself in the gym, and it is highly likely it occurred while he was doing something he has repeated thousands of times. A slight drop in explosion for athletes like St Pierre and the slide begins.
So Georges, take all the time you need. But I urge you to consider this – when you come back I want to see a finish, or something new and improved, I don’t want to see the same old ‘Rush’.