Rush: The career of Georges St. Pierre

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Since 2008, one man has dominated the UFC welterweight division. To many he is known as Rush, others as GSP but when you talk about UFC one of the first names mentioned worldwide is former two time UFC Welterweight Champion, Georges St. Pierre.

At the young age of seven, Georges St. Pierre began learning Kyokushin Karate to help him through a difficult childhood in school. He later took up wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu before beginning his career in MMA in 2002.

He fought in his country and place of birth Quebec, Canada for two years and possessed a professional fight record of five wins and no losses before making his debut in the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2004. He competed in his first fight with the organisation at UFC 46 in Las Vegas, Nevada. St. Pierre earned a decision victory over highly ranked welterweight, Karo Parisyan.

In June of that year, he won his second successive bout in the UFC, defeating Jay Hieron at UFC 48 by TKO just over a minute and a half into the first round of the fight. With such a comprehensive victory, St. Pierre earned the opportunity to face Matt Hughes for the vacant UFC Welterweight Championship at UFC 50. Despite a spirited performance, St. Pierre was unable to defeat his much more experienced opponent and just a second before the end of round one, was forced to tap to Hughes' armbar hold.

Following his loss at UFC 50, St. Pierre went on a six match winning streak, defeating stellar names such as Sean Sherk, B.J. Penn and the man who handed him his first loss, Hughes. With his win over Hughes at UFC 65 via TKO, St. Pierre captured the UFC Welterweight Championship for the first time in his career, he also earned the Knockout of the Night honour for his title winning performance.

Despite this, less than six months later St. Pierre would surrender the Welterweight title to Matt Serra at UFC 69 via TKO, to date this bout was the only time that St. Pierre has lost by way of knockout in his career.

He did however get a measure of retribution by defeating Josh Koscheck by decision in August of that year [2007] and just four months later became the first ever UFC interim Welterweight Champion, defeating Matt Hughes in a rubber match with the use of an armbar at UFC 79. St. Pierre earned the Submission of the Night honour for his decisive victory over the former champion.

With this win over Hughes, St. Pierre earned the right to face official Welterweight champion Matt Serra to crown the undisputed champion of the division. St. Pierre avenged his loss to Serra from a year earlier with a comprehensive TKO victory in the second round at UFC 83 in his hometown of Quebec.

The newly crowned two time welterweight champion put his gold on the line for the first time in his second reign against Jon Fitch at UFC 87. St. Pierre was once again victorious and defended the title for the first time, winning by unanimous decision in a Fight of the Night bout.

Shortly after his win over Fitch, St. Pierre finally earned his black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in September 2008. Following his victory over Fitch at UFC 87, B.J. Penn entered the octagon and challenged the defending champion to a rematch at UFC 94. This was a highly anticipated bout between two of the very best in the organisation. Penn fought well for the first two rounds avoiding a number of takedowns attempted by the champion. However at the end of the fourth round, Penn's cornerman requested the referee to end the fight, resulting in a TKO victory and second successive title defence for St. Pierre.

A notable statistic from his victory over Penn is that since then, St. Pierre has won each of his last seven bouts in the octagon via decision. St. Pierre defended the UFC Welterweight Title seven times against the likes of Josh Koscheck, Thiago Alves, Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit since. However, his latest victory in the octagon came with some severe controversy.

St. Pierre defended his title against Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 in November of last year. The champion was rendered the victor by split decision however UFC president Dana White stated that the win was unwarranted immediately following the title fight. In an interview after the bout, St. Pierre announced he would take some time away from the octagon. He officially vacated the Welterweight title in December.

For several years, St. Pierre was ranked as the best Welterweight in the world by various publications. Holding a fantastic professional MMA record of 25 wins and two losses from 27 fights. He is considered by many fans and experts as one if not the greatest UFC fighter in the 20 year history of the organisation. Each fan of GSP will be hoping for a return in the very near future and for the fighter to continue his legacy inside the octagon.

Is Georges ''Rush'' St. Pierre the greatest UFC fighter of all time? Have your say below.

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Georges St-Pierre

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