Recently on his Beyond the Fight series, Chael Sonnen talked about Georges St-Pierre’s return at UFC 217 and the struggles with coming back. Sonnen also delved into how the former welterweight champion could look worse than ever and still win a UFC title.
“People said, Georges St-Pierre with four years off, he’s not gonna be as fast as he was. Well, he wasn’t. People said he wouldn’t be big enough to just come in underneath a 185-pound Michael Bisping and just take him down like he did everyone else. Well, he couldn’t. He struggled there. People said his timing was gonna be a little bit off, he’d second guess himself after this long layoff. He did. It was the worst Georges St-Pierre I’ve ever seen, but what the world found out is Georges St-Pierre’s skills as a mixed martial artist, there’s a big gap between St-Pierre and the rest of the field. . . Yeah it was a rusty Georges St-Pierre, maybe a little bit slower. I thought maybe his conditioning wasn’t quite what we used to see. He’s still the best in the world.”
Bisping reignited conversations about the who is the greatest fighter ever, a debate that recently been dominated by Demetrious Johnson. Johnson has built his case with an unprecedented run of dominance over his division, setting the UFC title defense record with 11 (and counting), but Sonnen says St-Pierre’s case is more compelling because of his own level of dominance spanning a much wider space of time.
“Do not ever go into a conversation about who the greatest fighter of all time is and not come out of that saying Georges St-Pierre. . .
“It’s very hard to deny reality. It’s very hard to deny what we’re seeing. It’s very hard to deny a two time world champion in two different divisions that spans back to 2001 and has one loss. One loss since 2001. Beat all of the guys in the previous generation. Beat all of the guys of his generation. Beat all of the guys in the next generation, and left. He comes back four years later, changes weight classes and wins it again. I don’t know what more a guy needs to do. Georges St-Pierre is the greatest fighter to have ever done it.”