UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre has received some criticism lately for not finishing fights. St. Pierre has fought to a decision victory in three of his last four fights including fights with Jon Fitch, Thiago Alves, and most recently with Dan Hardy at UFC 111 in March.
Critics really took note of St. Pierre’s style against Hardy as it appeared he could have submitted the British fighter on more than one occasion in the bout, but the champion refused to break Hardy’s arm as it appeared as that’s what it would take to win the fight.
St. Pierre recently spoke with MMAJunkie.com and explained his thinking and reasoning for fighting safe.
“That’s true. I fight safe, and I’m not going to hide it.”
“I’m fighting safe. Every time I step into the octagon, my life is in jeopardy. For me, it’s more important to not get hit than to hit the guy. I will never fight in a way [in which] I fight like I flip a coin… I never took risks. The only fight I took a risk was when I fought Matt Serra, and I went in a stupid exchange, and it was not smart. I got caught; Serra beat me fair and square, and he deserved the victory that night. But it taught me a good lesson, and I don’t want it to happen again.”
“When I’m standing up, I hit the guy, (and) I pick my angle, and I’m smart. I’m not afraid to say it: I’m not a brawler, and I’m not a coward. I’m not going to trade punch one-for-one with a guy. I’m going to hit the guy and not get hit. That’s a smart way to fight.”
“I’m not going to give names, but if I would tell you names, you would know who’s a brawler (and) who’s not and who now has a problem with his career because he got hit too much. They can’t take a punch anymore.”
“I don’t fight like an idiot. That’s what defines me. I’m (not the) champion because I’m the strongest guy in the division. It’s not because I’m the fastest guy. I’m not the best grappler. I’m not the best striker. I’m not the best wrestler. But why I’m champion is because I fight smart every single fight… It’s like F-1; you need a good driver and a good car. If you have a very good [car] but a bad driver, you’re not going to win the race. If you have a very good driver and a bad car, you’re not going to win, either. So I have a good car and a good driver, which is even more important.”