On Saturday, March 16th, Georges St-Pierre, the UFC’s welterweight champion, will fight Nick Diaz at the Bell Centre in Montreal as the main event of UFC 158. It will be the 26th professional fight of his career, and his eighth straight title defense. In a sport where even the best are only ever a punch away from being knocked out, St-Pierre has emerged as dominant of a force as can be imagined. Comparisons to the great Anderson Silva are not uncommon, and while the UFC’s current middleweight champion boasts an undefeated record – sixteen straight wins – with the promotion, his weight class doesn’t have the same class of depth as St-Pierre’s.
Watching St-Pierre fight is something special. Despite his tactician-first, entertainer-second approach in The Octagon, his status among fans is reminiscent of the godded up pugilists from the past that inspire even the most cynical of grandpas to talk glowingly. He possesses just enough vulnerability to make his dominance endearing, and perhaps above all else, he wins. He almost always wins.
St-Pierre’s appeal goes beyond his dominant victories. He’s a unique athlete, a unique person, whose humility in both victory and defeat has represented his violent sport well and led to his promotion finding an enormous market for their product in Canada. He isn’t easily encompassed or grasped by a quick biography or a feature interview, and so it’s my pleasure to present the A-Zs of GSP.