The judges scored it 50-45, 48-47 and 48-47 for St. Pierre, and although those score cards were closer than the usual for St. Pierre, they represented what has become commonplace for the UFC champ: He wins decisions easily, rather than putting opponents away spectacularly. St. Pierre said afterward that he wasn't happy with his own performance.
"I couldn't deliver much," St. Pierre said. "I'm sorry for the fans. I wanted to make a knockout or a submission."
In the first minute of the first round, Shields caught a St. Pierre kick and briefly appeared to be in position for a takedown, but GSP managed to hop around on one foot and get himself free. From there St. Pierre showed how superior his striking is than Shields' repeatedly landing jabs that backed Shields up, and getting creative by going for some spinning back kicks. It was clear through the first round that St. Pierre had a big advantage standing up.
In the second round, St. Pierre made frequent use of overhand right hands, and Shields didn't have much of an answer for them. None of St. Pierre's punches knocked Shields down, but several of them landed hard, and Shields was clearly affected. Shields did almost nothing to St. Pierre, as the fight continued to be fought just on the feet, exactly where St. Pierre wanted it.
The third round was more of the same until the final 30 seconds, when St. Pierre surprised Shields by going for a takedown of his own and knocking Shields on his back. That was a surprise, as Shields' only hope of a victory was pulling off a submission on the ground, but it showed just how comfortable St. Pierre was feeling.
At the start of the fourth St. Pierre put Shields on his back again, although this time St. Pierre quickly stood back up to stay out of danger. St. Pierre then waited a couple minutes without doing a whole lot before landing a hard left kick to the head that knocked Shields down. But instead of going in for the kill at that point, St. Pierre was content to play it safe for the rest of the round. Shields did manage to land a hard straight right hand that bloodied St. Pierre's nose later in the round, but St. Pierre definitely won the fourth.
By the fifth round, it was clear that St. Pierre was content to take an easy decision, and that had many of the 55,000 pro-GSP fans in Toronto booing: They came to see a brawl, and St. Pierre had decided to win a tactical battle on points, not a bloodbath or a knockout.
But the fans cheered St. Pierre in the end, as they should: He's a mixed martial artist, not an action star, and he did what he always does: He just won.