1. The fight and its significance to Georges St. Pierre.
2. The level of competition. In other words, whether the fight was a competitive one, something that most of Rush's fights have not been. He's been dominant.
Of course, if one of these two criteria were over the top in a particular bout that one might move a tad forward on the list over another where both criteria were more relevant but neither were over the top. Clearly not an easy task for us here at MMAFighting.com, but let's get to it.
10. Georges St. Pierre vs. Sean Sherk
Result: Georges St. Pierre wins via TKO at 2:53 of round two.
Event: UFC 56: Full Force
The Skinny: Sean Sherk had actually gone the distance with Matt Hughes. So when these two went at it some questions were answered.
Namely, St. Pierre dominated a fighter that had been competitive with the only man to beat him to that point in his career.
In the end, St. Pierre beat Sherk up on his feet very badly in this one and made mincemeat out of his takedown attempts. Though Sherk displayed his toughness, he was unable to show anything else.
9. Georges St. Pierre vs. Frank Trigg
Result: Georges St. Pierre wins via rear naked choke at 4:09 of round one.
Event: UFC 54: Boiling Point
The Skinny: Not a good fight at all. But Frank Trigg had nearly defeated Matt Hughes only one fight earlier. Thus, when St. Pierre took Trigg down, dominated him, and choked him out so quickly and easily it got people thinking.
Maybe he deserved that rematch with Hughes.
8. Georges St. Pierre vs. Karo Parisyan
Result: Georges St. Pierre wins via unanimous decision.
Event: UFC 46: Supernatural
The Skinny: This was Rush's first UFC fight, making it special. It was also a fight where he displayed the ground and pound dominance that he would become quite well known for against an upper echelon UFC fighter. Not a very competitive fight?most of Rush's have not been?but it was a UFC debut win.
7. Georges St. Pierre vs. Matt Serra 2
Result: Georges St. Pierre wins via TKO at 4:45 of round two.
Event: UFC 83: Serra vs. St. Pierre II
The Skinny: What's the remedy to losing in decisive fashion in your first title defense? How about seeing a sports psychologist and throwing a brick with Matt Serra's name on it in a river, because that's exactly what Rush did.
The bottom line is that all of that psychological mumbo jumbo worked.
St. Pierre would not be denied in his second fight against Serra, this one taking place in his home country of Canada. He proved he was mentally over the knockout he sustained to the Long Island fighter by taking him down at will during the fight and continually improving his position. Toward the end of the bout he began hitting home with several ridiculously hard knees to Serra's ribs. Eventually, it became hard to even watch.
And the referee agreed. This was a huge moral victory for St. Pierre, making up for his earlier loss to the former TUF Champion.
6. Georges St. Pierre vs. Matt Hughes 3
Result: Georges St. Pierre wins by armbar at 4:54 of round two.
Event: UFC 79: Nemesis
The Skinny: Most believed that St. Pierre would come out the victor when these two tangled for the third time. After all, he had dominated Hughes in their second fight.
Let's put it this way?most people were right.
This time Hughes came out with the specific game plan to take St. Pierre down. Good game plan. Unfortunately for him, St. Pierre's athleticism and takedown defense would not allow his attempts to come through. In fact, it was Rush who ended up taking Hughes down and mounting him during the first stanza, all the while slamming him with ground and pound.
In the second, St. Pierre mounted Hughes once again. Though Hughes got up, the respite was short lived as he was swept to the ground rather viciously before verbally submitting to an armbar.
There were no more questions after this one. St. Pierre was the best welterweight in the world.
5. Georges St. Pierre vs. Matt Hughes 1
Result: Matt Hughes wins via armbar at 4:59 of round one.
Event: UFC 50: The War of 04
The Skinny: Later St. Pierre would tell us that he was somewhat in awe of his opponent coming into this fight. Though he was doing well in the bout up until the end, he did not feel as if he was doing well. Perhaps it was this lack of confidence that allowed Hughes to quickly transition to an armbar and defeat his opponent out of the blue in this one.
Though St. Pierre had proven that he had the athletic gifts to give Hughes a good tussle, in the end the man from Illinois had once again defeated a top caliber opponent. It was back to the drawing board for St. Pierre.
4. Georges St. Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck
Result: Georges St. Pierre wins via unanimous decision.
Event: UFC 74: Respect
The Skinny: This was a huge fight that perhaps didn't get the fanfare that it deserved. St. Pierre was the more well- rounded fighter coming in. That said, everyone knew that he liked to use his wrestling and athleticism to dominate his opponents. Of course, that would be quite difficult against a fighter like Josh Koscheck, one with a background that included a Division 1 Wrestling Championship.
But St. Pierre simply outwrestled the former Division 1 All American the entire fight, continually hitting home with ground and pound. And when it was all over, St. Pierre had perhaps never been more impressive.
3. Georges St. Pierre vs. Matt Serra 1
Result: Matt Serra wins via TKO at 3:25 of round one.
Event: UFC 69: Shootout
The Skinny: This one will live on in the annals of great MMA upsets for a very long time. Fresh off of a TUF victory that netted him the chance to fight for the UFC Welterweight Championship, Matt Serra was ready.
Basically, Serra connected with a huge right hand that hurt his Canadian counterpart. Then he continually pounded away at him until the referee had no choice but to stop things.
Matt Serra shocked the MMA world in this one. For this reason alone, it makes this list at number three. Guess is that if we were doing a Matt Serra list, we'd be talking about his number one fight here.
2. Georges St. Pierre vs. B.J. Penn
Result: Georges St. Pierre wins via majority decision.
Event: UFC 58: USA vs. Canada
The Skinny: B.J. Penn dominated St. Pierre in the first round of this fight, bloodying his nose and pounding away at him on his feet. But then Penn seemingly gassed. And the final two rounds of the fight saw St. Pierre connect nicely with his jab and continually take his opponent down.
This was the closest fight of St. Pierre's career. Though some disagreed with the somewhat controversial decision, it did prove that Rush could fight his way through adversity, something that was doubted coming in.
1. Georges St. Pierre vs. Matt Hughes 2
Result: St. Pierre wins via TKO at 1:25 of round two
Event: UFC 65: Bad Intentions
The skinny: In terms of importance to his career, St. Pierre has never partaken in a bigger fight. He had been getting down on his knees and asking Dana White for a rematch with Hughes for quite awhile. However, since it was his second shot at the legendary UFC Champion there would be no third chance anywhere in the near future if he were to lose. The bottom line is that the Canadian fighter needed to prove that what he was saying before this fight?that he was no longer in awe of and mentally defeated by Matt Hughes?was true.
Mental problem solved.
For some reason, Hughes barely attempted any takedowns and tried it out on his feet against the Canadian fighter in this fight. Bad idea as St. Pierre sent him to the canvas via a Superman punch just before the first round bell. In the second, a St. Pierre head kick sent Hughes to the canvas once again. Several strikes later and it was all over.
Georges St. Pierre was the new UFC Welterweight Champion after defeating the greatest welterweight in the organization's history. Was this fight as competitive as his bout against B.J. Penn? No. Was it as big an upset as his loss to Matt Serra? No again. But it was so huge for his career that it jumps over the top of both of these fights to number one.