Chris Cox: Afterthoughts from UFC 158

Gorges St-Pierre has not lost a fight since being defeated by Matt Serra six years ago (Photo by Sherdog.com).

The Impact of UFC 158 on the Welterweight Division

Written by Chris Cox (@CoxFight), Contributing Writer

Last Saturday night, I found myself at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach, refreshing my phone every 10 minutes to keep myself updated about UFC 158 before Deftones took the stage and rocked the house. I got out just in time to get myself to a sports bar to watch the main event of Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz. This is a fight that the MMA world has been awaiting for years. My prediction was for GSP to come in and dominate all five rounds, and it turned out that I was correct. The problem is that I am not happy to be right on this one.

I am a big fan of Georges St-Pierre, so I assure you that this article is in no way to slam his performance, which was beyond dominant. He maybe felt a little scared towards the end of the third round, but the fact is he beat Diaz both on the ground and standing. He not only beat him standing but vastly out-struck him, 210 to 80, in total strikes. Diaz was expected to be a guy who could possibly end GSP’s reign, yet he was the latest on a long list to fall to the champ. My problem is that GSP is so dominant that easy wins become expected at this point. There is no doubt when he steps into the Octagon. You know he is going to walk in and nail that double leg takedown, and then he is going to punish his opponent. You know he is going to circle in and out, landing more strikes than his opposition. He has the technical ability to pick apart any man at welterweight who steps into the cage with him.

It has become alarmingly apparent that there is no challenge for GSP at 170 pounds. The welterweight division needs a new king. It needs new blood at the top. Johny Hendricks was able to come out earlier last Saturday night and add the final notch in his campaign for a title shot, finally securing it, and I feel that this is the last person GSP can face at 170.

The truth is that St-Pierre has become so dominant as a welterweight that he truly needs to retire his belt and make the move to the middleweight division. 185 will be a whole new world of challenges for him, facing fighters who are much bigger and walk around with much more power. I don’t care if he faces Anderson Silva for a superfight and loses. 185 needs to be his new home, both for himself and his career. He needs to be challenged.

Throughout his career, long-time UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva has only become more dangerous, and his performances have only become more exciting to watch. We watched Chael Sonnen take him down and punish him for four rounds at UFC 117. It was the most damage that we had ever seen him take, and he came back and pulled out the win when Sonnen made one mistake. In his second fight against Sonnen, he came out aggressively and knocked him out in the second round. It showed diversity and that he could deal with a challenge, proving why he is the best and will remain the best.

Not only would the move up be good for GSP, it would be great for the company. They need to bring some new spice and drama into the welterweight division. It has been dominated by him for too long, so most fights are just going to be overlooked at this point. As soon as someone starts to make an impact, it’s just a matter of time until he gets dominated by GSP.

The light heavyweight division has been known as the most exciting division in the UFC because of how many people could cause an upset and become champion. That title has changed hands six times since 2005, and it would have been more often if injuries did not play a factor. It has been fantastic for the fans, and it’s what this division needs now. St-Pierre vs. Hendricks can go down, but, win or lose, GSP needs to leave that division behind and find new challenges for him as a middleweight.



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