Because he’s boring. That’s the truth of it. He walks out with the intent on controlling the action, not pressing for finishes, and obviously focuses intently on holding people down. This is all true, but it misses the point.
GSP has his hands full in November against Johny Hendricks at UFC 167, but he is far from defenseless. What with his well-rounded skill set that has so far, thrown every fighter he’s ever faced in to complete confusion and disharmony inside the Octagon.
Sure there are those two losses he suffered against Matt Hughes and Matt Serra, but both of those were brutally avenged, and never repeated.
If you’ve made it this far on the article, you’re probably blue in the face from yelling the name of the UFC’s current p4p and light heavyweight champ, Jon Jones. He is the man; he’s also more dominant than any champion has been before him. At least up to this point in his career.
Look at his win/loss record and anyone who knows Steve Mazzagatti and the Matt Hamill fight at the UFC TUF 10 Finale in 2009 was bogus. Jones won that fight, look it up if you haven’t seen it or don’t remember.
So he’s undefeated and on a longer win streak than GSP is currently. That’s apparently enough for those that decide the ranking lists. Which ironically are the media who cover the fights. Common sense says Jones will probably remain undefeated longer than GSP can at this point.
But therein lies the problem. GSP is on the down side of his career and regardless of his lack of action in recent bouts; he’s still maintaining his dominance since he started in the sport, which is a good six years before Jones. If the reporters who rank the fighters can simply think back a few years, GSP is the only one on the entire list who clawed his way to the top before anyone else was in the UFC, much less the sport as a whole.
So when a fighter reaches his physical peak, he is at the point in his career where no one can match his physicality or athleticism in the cage. Once he begins to slow down a bit and lose the edge that was granted him by youth, he’s gotta start relying on his skill and experience to out maneuver his younger and more athletic opponents.
When this happens, only the great fighters continue to hold the belt and hand hungry contenders one bitter defeat after another.
Look at who GSP has faced over the years who were meeting him in the cage with the most momentum and undefeated statuses. Before taking the belt from Matt Hughes, he had to step in to the cage with a man who had not only defeated him once already, but was the current p4p greatest fighter at the time. At the least, no one argues he was the greatest welterweight champ the world had seen before GSP.
Hughes had only dropped four losses in over forty professional appearances and was known for submitting and knocking out almost all of his opponents. Out of his forty plus wins, he had only gone to a decision five times. Who does that?
Then later on, GSP fought BJ Penn, a man who had taken him to a close split decision before, and was riding a ton of momentum since picking up the light weight championship, after beating three of the best in the division.
GSP man handled Penn until the Prodigy’s corner refused to let their man out the gate for the fifth round. Jon Fitch, Thiago Alves, and Carlos Condit were also riding incredible win streaks when they stepped in to the cage against GSP, and the list goes on.
Now Jones is exciting and hitting his physical prime as we speak. No one in the division looks like they are capable of touching him. But give it a few years. Can he adapt and change his game plan to account for the younger and more athletic generation that will inevitably be entering the sport years from now?
Only time will tell. But just in the way he was refused the top spot while Anderson Silva was winning, GSP should get the same respect. Until then, GSP has earned the #1 spot, and Jones should stay at #2.