GSP vs. Diaz Fight Card: Is GSP the Most Dominant Champion in the UFC?

Matthew Ryder@@matthewjryderFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2013

Mar 16, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, CAN;  Georges St.Pierre (red) is declared the winner by unanimous decision during the Welterweight title bout against Nick Diaz at UFC 158 at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Dominance is an interesting thing to behold in MMA. Really, there are only three guys in the sport who consistently and forcefully dominate their opponents: Anderson Silva, Jon Jones and Georges St-Pierre.

And they all do it differently.

Silva is pure, unfiltered violence. He ends fights how he wants, when he wants, with whatever he wants. It almost never takes him more than seven minutes to finish his opponent, no matter who it is.

Jones is the new breed, a born athlete who has access to the best coaches and gameplanners in the sport, and he fights like it. He's unorthodox and talented, but there's never that sense that something spectacular is about to happen when he's in the cage. He just wins, and he does it without ever being challenged.

St-Pierre, of the three, is the most interesting case. He's absolutely and completely dominant, a tireless worker who hardly ever finds himself in trouble in a fight. This risk-averse approach to the game has earned him plenty of detractors, but aside from a Carlos Condit head kick at UFC 154 there isn't a time he's been in any trouble at all during his current six-year undefeated streak.

That's pretty impressive.

Yes, criticism of GSP and his style is warranted. He's the ultimate study in understanding the rules and tailoring an approach to succeed within them. He's not about to go out and throw caution to the wind just for the sake of entertainment, and it may be time for the world to stop expecting it.

But what he does, he does better than anyone.

In the deepest division in the sport behind lightweight, St-Pierre has been on top of the heap for five years. He's defended the title eight times, making the best guys in the world look like they never threw a punch in their lives. He makes it look easy, too.

So with that in mind, the question becomes: is he the most dominant champion in the UFC?

And the answer is yes.

Since regaining his title in 2008 he's spent 195 minutes in the Octagon and has been in trouble—real trouble—for about 40 seconds after Condit caught him flush. That's astounding.

It may have to do with his style, that he drags fights on so long and is so far ahead of his opponents that he can showcase his dominance in ways that Silva and Jones can't as they finish guys routinely.

But in terms of long, grinding success and domination, no one does it better than St-Pierre.

So no, it's not a popular opinion. And no, he's not the best at producing fireworks and ending fights in spectacular fashion (or at all, really). But for soul-sucking, gut-wrenching dominance over the long haul, no one does it better than GSP.