The debate over who will win the Welter Weight Championship Belt on March 27, is accelerating and most likely will continue at breakneck speed with the next two instalments of the UFC Prime-time series.
For some odd reason, many MMA fans will support a fighter on his rise to a title and then spend countless hours speculating on which fighter will finally dethrone the champion.
To me that is a real pity. Once in a lifetime a special athlete will come along and make his name a household word. Thus we have icons such as Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and now Georges St-Pierre.
In my way of thinking, being a loyal fan of one of the truly great fighters in the field of MMA includes standing by that individual in good times and bad.
What does this mean?
Whether Georges wins or loses at UFC 111, I will still be his fan.
The contest within the cage is not a popularity contest.
The fighter who has the fights best will win that night. There are seldom draws in a title bout.
If Dan Hardy wins, he will probably increase his fan base and enjoy a brief ride at the top of the WW division. I do not see him having the staying power and appeal that GSP has.
Once again, should Georges fail to defend his title, I believe his true fans, which include many dedicated females whom he has won over to the sport, will still "heart" GSP.
Georges is a gentleman and a very good role model of sportsmanship for the youth of our world and is also the essence of the martial arts, which are all about respect.
(Does anyone else hear Aretha Franklin singing that song when they read the word or spell R-E-S-P-E-C-T)?
Worse case scenario, Georges could decide to train and try out for the Olympics, which would in no way diminish his stature as an accomplished MMA champion and would give people a lot to look forward to in the year 2012. His magnetic personality and poise will continue to make him a very marketable sports hero.
Still, even as I write this I do not doubt that the outcome of the fight will see Georges retaining his title.
Dan Hardy will become an elite member of the best WW fighters who have failed to wrest the belt from Georges' trim waist. In itself, that is an honor. It takes a lot to reach the pinnacle of the division. Failing to become champion still leaves limitless possibilities of fights with a very tough field of contenders. For a UFC fighter that is a privilege not many will ever attain.
Welcome to the club Mr. Outlaw, I am sure we will be seeing a lot more of you.
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