UFC welterweight champion, Georges St-Pierre, did on Saturday night what he was unable to do a year and a half ago. Not only was he able to successfully defended his 170-pound title against top contender Jon Fitch at UFC 87, but he did so in dominating fashion. St-Pierre sent the message to the entire 170-pound division that the belt is his, and will be for a long time to come.
As impressive as he looked against Fitch, the win was far from easy. St-Pierre landed solid strikes to Fitch’s face in the 1st and 3rdRounds, stunning the challenger and sending him to the canvas. However, as the champion went in for the kill, he found out that finishing the gritty Fitch was going to be a difficult task.
“I’m telling you after (the) 3rdRound I was looking at the clock and Jon Fitch he never die, and I try to finish him every time,” St-Pierre said of Fitch. “After the 1stRound I (tried) everything. I saw him [fall] down and come back and I was like, my god, what do have to do to beat this guy. It’s discouraging.”
Fitch showed the heart and desire required to become a champion one day, however it was not going to be yesterday. Although St-Pierre couldn’t finish off Fitch, he dominated Fitch in each and every round, particularly the 1st and 3rd.
St-Pierre had a clear advantage in the stand up game going into the fight, and that is exactly where he wanted to exploit Fitch.
“I think when Jon Fitch [opened] (the fight) standing up, I went for the shot to make him scared of my shot,” the champion said. “It would make him more shy the next time if he would rush me like crazy. That was my strategy, my strategy was to go standing up with him. I didn’t want to go much on the ground, but if he [goes] crazy, I was going to [shoot].
“I think it was a nice strategy. It was my game plan. I [watched] a lot of his videos (from) his (previous) fights, but actually he came today as a way better version than he was in his fights before, so I was impressed of how he was. Also very impressed (on) how much of a warrior he is. He’s unfinishable, he’s crazy.”
The game plan seemingly worked to perfection, outside of the fact that the fight had to go the distance. However, the champion feels that he will be much better because of it.
“When you do five [rounds], it [gives] you a lot of experience,” St-Pierre stated. “It’s my first time I [done] five [rounds] in my life and it’s tough. At one point, my goodness; I made many mistakes in that fight, and I’m going to look back (at) the replay (at) what I did wrong and come back stronger next time.”
Before he had even a second to enjoy his first successful title defense, Georges St-Pierre was already presented with his next opponent. In his post-fight octagon interview, current UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn interrupted GSP’s speech, respectfully calling for a rematch.
“I want to give a shot to everybody who deserves it, BJ Penn deserves it,” GSP said about a possible rematch with Penn.“He’s an incredible fighter…I’m not a guy who (is) gonna duck people…I have courage and I can stand in front of everybody. I’m not afraid to fight nobody.”
UFC President Dana White stated before the St-Pierre/Fitch bout that if GSP were to come out healthy and victorious, a Penn rematch would most likely be set for their end of the year card scheduled for December 27th.
St-Pierre is on a mission to go down as the best MMA fighter ever, and is prepared to take on all challenges, old or new.
“I want to be a real champion,” St-Pierre said. “I wanna be the best the best in the world and to be the best in the world you need to fight the best in the world.”