In October 2004, Georges St. Pierre made his UFC debut. In November 2006, he won his first world title. In 2008, he won the UFC Championship belt by defeating Matt Serra, and has held on to it ever since.
While some find Georges St. Pierre’s style to be a tad boring, his dominance can not be questioned, and he is one of the most well liked, and popular fighters both inside and outside of the ring. He remains one of the biggest pay per view draws in the sport’s history, and has surely been well compensated by the UFC and his sponsors for his endeavors.
Going into his 9th title defense, questions have to be asked about what is left in the sport for the ‘Rush’.
Despite having a bit of difficulty putting opponents away, he’s looked as dominant ever in recent fights, and has shown no obvious signs of slowing down. The problem is that there’s nothing more he can accomplish. Nine title defenses or nineteen, and he’ll probably be remembered the same. Further, there isn’t even a legacy fight on the table. With Anderson Silva’s loss to Chris Weidman, the potential superfight seems unlikely, and if it ever does materialize, it won’t be nearly as big as it could have been — for both the fans, and St. Pierre.
In truth, the welterweight division is as strong as ever. UFC 167 challenger Johny Hendricks is a dangerous contender, and there are plenty of contenders on the horizon. Tarec Saffiedine is set to make his UFC debut in 2014, Ben Askren sits in contract limbo, and Matt Brown is one win away from earning a shot against the champion. Yet none of these fights have true marquee appeal that somebody like St. Pierre deserves.
The only challenger at welterweight that people would truly love to see fight St. Pierre is his training partner, Rory Macdonald. It’s always the one we can’t have that we want. Georges St. Pierre has made it very clear that he will not fight Macdonald, and while financial incentives have been known to be able to make these things happen, it still appears off the table.
With few serious challengers that can turn Georges St. Pierre from a superstar, into something bigger, it’s not hard to imagine that he’s not as motivated as he once was. At this point, he’s accomplished all that he has, and in both the eyes of the casual fan and the hardcore, cleaning out the top 10 welterweights in 2013 won’t change his legacy.