May 1, 2011
GSP losing super-fight traction
By STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency
The question is, did Georges St. Pierre's clinical though somewhat boring performance against Jake Shields on Saturday night at the Rogers Centre octagon damage his chances for a possible UFC super-fight against middleweight king Anderson Silva?
Yes, it was another win for the welterweight champ, but the UFC 129 headline bout was far from sensational and it was the Montreal fighter's fifth consecutive fight decided by the judges. Hardly a performance that left anyone, other than perhaps the most ardent mixed martial arts aficionados, breathless.
GSP still might be considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, he's an absolute true MMA scientist, but the clamouring for a St. Pierre-Silva super-fight appears to be abating while the buzz for a possible Silva-Jon Jones super-fight is accelerating, though GSP and Silva have almost eliminated the best competition in their respective divisions.
That Silva will be in any super-fight is without question (if he gets by Yushin Okami at UFC 134 in August). He's won 14 in a row, and eight straight successful title defences, including a first round stoppage over fellow Brazilian Vitor Belfort in UFC 126 on Feb. 5, which still has fans talking. Silva landed a ferocious front kick to Belfort's jaw and followed that up with punches to the head to end it in the first round.
As for Jones, the Rochester, N.Y., native is only 23, but he's quickly becoming the newest sensation in the UFC, no doubt the result of his last four stoppage victories, including a TKO win over Maurício Rua at UFC 128. Silva and Jones seem to be passing GSP as the two fighters most fans would love to see in a super-fight, though GSP kept the possibility of a fight between himself and Silva alive after his win over Shields.
"We'll see," he said. "I just finished my fight. I haven't considered that yet. Going up in weight class is a lot to consider. Maybe there are other ways of making that fight. We'll talk."
There are whispers Strikeforce welterweight champ Nick Diaz could be the next opponent for GSP, prior to a super-fight.
St. Pierre twittered on Sunday morning that the doctors have told him he hasn't suffered retina damage but he will have more tests conducted on his eye this week. In the meantime, his trainer Greg Jackson expressed annoyance on Sunday when he talked with Sherdog.com about fans who considered GSP's performance against Shields a disappointment. Jackson believes St. Pierre's damaged eye affected him more than people can know because St. Pierre is a timing-based fighter and his hampered vision threw his depth perception off. Otherwise, Jackson suggested, GSP was in position to finish Shields off.
"If you're sitting at home and you've never really been poked in the eye and had somebody of Jake Shields' level come after you and try to knock your block off, its hard to understand what that means," Jackson told Sherdog. "He was just off a little bit on some of those big shots and I feel like if he would have had both eyes, he would have landed those shots and he would have done a lot more damage."
As for detractors who expected GSP to be able to finish Shields off anyway, Jackson said such expectations were miss-placed and ignorant.
"Jake Shields is a phenomenal fighter," he said. "I'm not sure where people get this idea that Jake Shields is like this punching bag."
But as one Canadian MMA hero took his lumps to some degree on Saturday, a new homegrown hero has emerged -- Thamesford, Ont., featherweight Mark Hominick, who lost a unanimous decision in the co-main event to UFC champion Jose Aldo, but certainly endeared himself to UFC fans everywhere with his incredibly gutsy performance against the champion. Hominick almost pulled off an upset with a stirring fifth round, despite suffering a horrific-looking hematoma on his forehead late in the fight.
UFC president Dana White declared the Hominick-Aldo bout the Fight of the Night, and most of those at the Rogers Centre certainly agreed with that assessment. Hominick's performance was one of those losses that actually enhanced his position as a fighter and he will almost certainly co-headline an upcoming UFC show in Canada.