On November 16th, the #1 ranked welterweight in the world and the UFC’s longest currently reigning champion Georges St. Pierre (sponsored by 888poker) is scheduled to defend his title against the top contender, [#2 WW] Johny Hendricks. On paper, it’s an interesting match up of styles: Hendricks, 10-1 in UFC and on a 6 win streak, has superb collegiate wrestling credentials that should allow him to defend GSP’s amazing takedowns, or even put the champion on his back. He also possesses huge one-punch KO power, and thought he hasn’t fought in a 5-rounder yet, he has shown the ability to go the distance in a few of his fights (the last one being a unanimous decision victory over Carlos Condit) . Based on these factors, many fans are picking an upset, predicting Hendricks to hand St. Pierre his first loss since 2007. However these predictions have also been made about GSP’s last few opponents; once the fighters are locked in the cage and the bell rings, the turn of events is often very different than all the pre-fight theorizing. And GSP is one of the best fighters in MMA at game-planning to his opponents weaknesses and neutralizing their strengths.
But I am not going to make any predictions on this fight. Instead, I want to summarize the frankly amazing list of GSP’s accomplishments in the sport. Both loved and hated by the fans, St. Pierre has been one of the UFC’s biggest and most consistent ticket sellers and PPV draws. Yet he is often criticized for his safe fighting style, opting for controlling his opponent for the duration of the fight instead of constantly looking to finish the fight at the expense of leaving himself open, which can make for a dull bout to watch. Many say that after his loss to Matt Serra, Georges became gun-shy. The fact that his last 6 bouts went to a decision, and a 54% finish rate through his career, do little to dispel this notion.
Regardless of how you feel about GSP’s fighting style, his accomplishments in the sport can’t be denied, and are rivaled by very few. So, keep on reading for Georges St Pierre by the numbers:
- 24-2 career record, 18-2 in the UFC.
- #1 ranked at welterweight – a position he has held since 2008 with a brief exception of being unranked for inactivity when a knee injury forced him out of action for nearly 2 years.
- #1 ranked welterweight and #2 ranked absolute fighter of all time.
- Currently ranked at #2 pound-for-pound, and #4 on the Division Dominance list.
- Shares the record for most wins in UFC bouts (18) with his long time rival Matt Hughes.
- Shares second place for the longest win streak in UFC (11) with Royce Gracie. A victory over Hendricks would extend the streak to 12 – still a long way to catch up to Anderson Silva’s 16-fight undefeated run.
- At 20 total fights in UFC, Georges is currently only tied for the fifth place. Of course having been champion for so long means that he fights less often than most non-title-holders. The injury layoff and a couple of stints as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter didn’t help this matter either.
- Tied with Anderson Silva for most wins in title bouts (11) – and will take the first place if he can defeat Johnny Hendricks.
- 8 consecutive title defenses – second most in the UFC history, and another win will put him within reach of tying Anderson’s record of 10 consecutive defenses.
- 13 total UFC title bouts – second only to Randy Couture with 15.
- 5 hour, 3 minutes, and 12 seconds total Octagon time, which puts Georges at only 39 seconds behind the record-holder BJ Penn. Unless Hendricks catches GSP very early, expect him to far surpass Penn’s record on the 16th.
- St. Pierres’ victory over Jon Fitch in 2008 is the third most lopsided 5-round decision in history, with the scores of 50-43, 50-44, 50-44.
- FightMatrix.com awards:
- 2x Fighter of the Year in 2009 and 2010.
- Comeback Fighter of the Year in 2012.
- 3x Most Noteworthy Fight of the Year: vs Matt Hughes in 2006, vs Matt Serra in 2007, vs BJ Penn in 2009.
- Victim of the Most Noteworthy Upset of the Year when he was TKO’d by Matt Serra in 2007.
The biggest question in this fight, at least for me, is how much does the 32-year old “Rush” have left in the tank? Will he dismantle Johny Hendricks like so many other opponents, and continue fighting for several more years in an attempt to capture the few UFC records that he doesn’t yet hold? Or will Hendricks’ punching power and wrestling pedigree be enough to dethrone the champ and end his reign, knocking him a step closer to retirement? Or maybe Georges will decide to hang up the gloves and call an end to his illustrious career, regardless of the outcome of the Hendricks fight? We will let our readers decide for themselves.