Georges St.Pierre may not have earned the finish he had desired tonight against Carlos Condit at UFC 154, but as it turns out, by overcoming serious adversity in the third round he may actually have done more to enhance his reputation in the long run.
Since the champion’s shock TKO loss to Matt Serra all the way back at UFC 69 in April of 2007 there’s always been a question mark hanging over his mental toughness and determination to succeed in the rare moments when he’s caught outside of his comfort zone in the Octagon.
Tonight after being felled by a head kick early in the third round by Condit that left a large contusion on his forehead we were able to discover once and for all whether that was true or not.
Condit attempted to throw everything but the kitchen sink at him in an attempt to finish the fight and shock the world once again, but the champion stayed composed, fought back, and by the end of the round was back on top of the challenger dishing out retribution.
It was scintillating to watch, and as far as St.Pierre’s legacy goes this was the stuff of legend in much the same way as Anderson Silva’s last-gasp submission over Chael Sonnen will always be a part of his folklore.
Speaking of Silva, tonight’s win removes a major banana skin in the way of a potential superfight between the Brazilian and GSP, and after a performance like that there’s no doubt that everyone wants to see it.
St.Pierre wouldn’t commit to the fight in the Octagon after his victory, but crucially he didn’t rule it out either.
With the UFC desperate to put this blockbuster fight together in a stadium in May of next year and fans clamoring for it, it’s only going to get harder for St.Pierre to turn down the opportunity to fight for the one accolade that still eludes him – the right to be called the definitive pound-for-pound best fighter in the sport.