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Where Does Georges St-Pierre Rank in the All-Time Greats of Mixed Martial Arts?Posted on Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 7:07 am
by IDMA Editor
Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant...these names are synonymous with being the greatest basketball players of all time.
Joe Montana, Walter Payton, Mike Singletary, Tom Brady...a list of football players who have dominated the gridiron for years.
In baseball, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Nolan Ryan come to mind as the best baseball players to step foot on the diamond.
But what makes an athlete great?
To me, being great is a combination of individual accolades, championships won, performance impact within their respective sport and global influence directly attributed to that athlete.
Mixed martial arts has been blessed with various elite fighters. But which of these MMA champions have been great based on these specific criteria I have demonstrated? And where does current UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre fit into the list of all-time greats?
The No. 1 welterweight in the world and the No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter by Sherdog.com, Georges "Rush" St-Pierre is my choice as the all-time best in mixed martial arts based on individual accolades, influence within the sport and global presence.
GSP's presence is not only confined to the United States, but his legendary status is equaled in his home country of Canada. A two-time Canadian athlete of the year, Georges' popularity within the Canadian borders as a sports icon rivals that of Wayne Gretzky and Sidney Crosby.
A two-time UFC welterweight champion with four successful title defenses, GSP's overall MMA record is 20-2. The events in which Georges headlines have a significant pay-per-view buy record as well as very impressive gate sales. GSP's earning potential is a tremendous value to the UFC and the mixed martial arts community in general.
Honored with Fighter of the Year accolades in 2008 and 2009 by various publications, Georges balanced fight game has stifled No. 1 contenders for years.
"Rush" has the ability to defend his championship by beating his opponents at their own game. Winning the ground game against fighters with prolific wrestling background like John Fitch, Josh Koscheck and Sean Sherk or winning in the stand-up game against fighters like Dan Hardy and Thiago Alves, GSP continues to dominate and successfully defend his welterweight championship.
Regardless of the fighting style against GSP, his amazing fighting ability has ensured victories against the world's best welterweights.
Outside of the Octagon, Georges' reach is global. The first mixed martial artist to be signed to a lucrative Forbes 50 corporate contract, GSP is a spokesman for both Under Armour clothing and Gatorade.
St-Pierre's charm and charisma is on display in a commercial for ESPN. Starring in this commercial enhances Georges' presence as a worldwide phenomenon as well as lending credibility to the sport of mixed martial arts and enhancing the UFC brand.
Photo of St_Pierre by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
His humble attitude and overwhelming charisma have enabled Georges to air in various television and media outlets.
All combined, Georges St-Pierre is without a doubt the greatest in mixed martial arts history.