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Is Winning Enough to Cement a Legacy for Georges St. Pierre in UFC?

(C) Getty ImagesAt UFC 129 we saw UFC sell 55,000 tickets for what turned into North America's largest MMA event in history, in GSP's home country of Canada. Georges St. Pierre is one of the UFC's most decorated champions in history, a two-time Welterweight Champion with six defenses in a row, seven if you count retaining the Interim Championship against Matt Serra to be crowned the Undisputed Welterweight Champion. Of course, over that streak there are only two stoppages, including the win over Serra and defense against BJ Penn, which has earned him a reputation among hardcore fans as lacking a killer instinct.

Without a doubt, GSP is something very special for the MMA world. To see that all you needed to do was watch tonight's UFC 129 and watch for both fighters entering the arena. GSP came into the arena sporting a seasonally fashionable suit and looked very composed while Shields was shown stumbling in the arena dressed in a t-shirt, oversized hoodie, jeans, baseball cap and sneakers. For St. Pierre this is par for the course, he is the epitome of professionalism in the world of Mixed Martial Arts; he dresses well, he speaks well, he also comes across as personable and intelligent. He is really the total package in a business sense, with no one able to come close to him in this department and might not for a while. Shields, while the elder to GSP was walking into the biggest fight of his life looking like a NASCAR vehicle, splattered with his sponsors and a bit nervous.

There is also little doubt as to why there were so many fans in the arena tonight; 55,000 came not only for the UFC brand name, the experience and for fights, but to see a hometown hero like Georges St. Pierre fight for the honor of Canada. We may have to wait and see what the PPV numbers are, but there is a good chance that they are indeed very good considering the solid line-up and marketing leading into the event. For GSP, everything seems on par for him to become one of MMA's biggest legends and superstars, yet something doesn't feel right.

On the same card fans saw a humble Randy Couture knocked out by a Crane Kick (not joking) by Lyoto Machida and announce that he was officially retired. Couture has already cemented his legacy, oddly enough he did so with a 19-11 record, which for an elite level MMA fighter who is held in such high regards as he,  a rather poor record. You could see Couture as the fighter that made the blueprint for GSP to follow; be humble, professional, follow the rules and never forget your fans. Yet for Couture, there is something about him that is very different, and that is his story and feelings he evokes from fans. Couture overcame insurmountable odds a few times in his career, hopping between two of the most competitive weight classes in the sport during his twilight years and securing big-name victories and title wins unlike any other fighter. Some of his fights when watched live were impossible not to be caught up in the moment and the passion of, like the Time Sylvia bout, don't hold up when viewed years later. The Sylvia fight is actually a rather boring fight with a very active crowd, but that is because it has already happened and we all know the outcome. Live, it was exciting and told a story of an over-the-hill underdog, former champion coming out of nowhere to stop a then-dominant champion. When Couture landed a punch you felt your heart race, when he took Sylvia down you wanted to jump out of your seat and cheer.

Randy wasn't always "good for business" with Zuffa, as they had a very public tiff a few years back including a lawsuit, Randy almost fighting for Affliction against Fedor Emelianenko and signing on for the EA MMA video game, all while holding the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Even with that said, Randy returned to UFC, was given a better contract than he had before, was allowed to keep his Heavyweight title and actually put it on the line against up-and-comer Brock Lesnar who was doing great PPV numbers for his previous fights. For many, Randy has an X-Factor, even if there are stories of him being a womanizer, hard to work with, terrible at managing his finances and possibly using hormone therapy to extend his career. None of that matters in the eyes of the public.

At this point UFC has two dominant champions; Georges St. Pierre at Welterweight and Anderson Silva at Middleweight, yet neither man really seem to be as beloved as Couture or primed to have as long of a lasting legacy as Couture. Both champions have been criticized for not finishing off their opponents, many of which are clearly not on their level. For Anderson Silva, the criticism tends to lean towards him simply playing with his opponents and becoming bored and disinterested with fighting them or putting on a good show. For GSP the criticism comes that he looks to fight a safe fight and only to win, not to finish his opponents. Anderson Silva plays more of a bad boy and GSP plays off more like a company man, and while both have great drawing potential in their home countries, possibly even become big stars on a world-wide scale, neither man have the untouchable aura of Randy Couture.

This makes one wonder if winning is really important for cementing a legacy as much as telling the fans an interesting story and having them get emotionally invested in you as a person, not just a fighter. A fighter like Brock Lesnar has this figured out, as to date he has only a handful of fights but has earned more money in those fights than some UFC fighters with lengthy, successful careers. On top of that, he will most likely always have a place in UFC history with fans all having a strong opinion on him, be it good or bad.

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Photo of the Day: Jerome Le Banner Wrestling for IGF in Japan

K-1 is still on hiatus, with a possible update from K-1 this coming week, but that doesn't mean that K-1 fighters aren't still making waves in Japan. Jerome Le Banner headed to Japan this week and was a part of Antonio Inoki's pro wrestling show, Inoki Genome Federation. Le Banner wrestled under "Special K-1 Rules" against Shinnichi Suzukawa, an ex-sumo who has had some interesting bouts in IGF over the past few months. There was a well-publicized bout with Mark Coleman where Suzukawa legitimately brutalized Coleman and then a match with Bob Sapp that was by-the-books pro wrestling. Le Banner came into this wearing his K-1 gloves and did a number on Suzukawa, KO'ing him in 5:39 with a hard punch. There is also some rough video available, so decide for yourself, real or fake punch. [source]

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The Return of Badr Hari: A Look at Badr vs. Ruslan Karaev, 2009 WGP Semi-Finals

We've been taking a look at the fights and moments that led to Badr Hari's meltdown in 2010 and his subsequent return after a year out of action. 2008 was a rough year for Badr Hari, as he was disqualified in the K-1 World Grand Prix Finals during the final round where he stomped Remy Bonjasky when he was down. Then on New Year's Eve Badr Hari walked into a bout with Alistair Overeem who, at the time, had not competed in a professional kickboxing bout in years. Badr Hari was clearly the favorite going into the bout, as Overeem's Heavyweight MMA career was just gaining steam.

It was a shock when Badr Hari was handed his second loss in a row to a fighter like Overeem who many believed would be destroyed by Badr Hari. Hari had not seen two losses in a row since he was 21 years old in 2006. That is what many people need to keep in mind about Hari, he is still very young, a mere 26. Those two losses back-to-back in 2006 were to Peter Graham and another young up-and-comer, Ruslan Karaev. Badr went on to avenge both of those losses, but the rematch with Karaev is one of the most dramatic, entertaining fights in K-1's recent history.

Karaev is a dangerous fighter with great counterpunching and the skills to hurt Badr Hari, so when they were matched up again in 2009 many were expecting another war. For Badr Hari he did not go into the bout with Karaev looking to end quickly to conserve his energy for later fights in the tournament. For Badr Hari, he must prove his mental resolve to overcome an opponent who has beaten him in the past without getting frustrated and making a mistake.

Badr Hari fights on May 14th against Gregory Tony for It's Showtime in Lyon.

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Ontario Athletic Commission lying?

Anyone else check the UFC 129 weigh ins?

The man conducting the weigh ins stated that Mark Hominick weighed in at 145.25, Joe Rogan repeated it to the crowd.

Moments later he was given a bottle of liquid to rehydrate.

Now the Ontario Athletics Commision is saying they made a second announcement claiming he weighed 145.

How is this possible? He never stepped foot back on the scale, and began rehydrating.

Unless I'm missing something the commission is lying, and this should be a 3 round non title fight.

Yeah its only .25 pounds, but rules are rules.

Edit: OK, a lot of people are saying that the music was so loud it made it so the scales weren't completely accurate.

If so, why did Ben Henderson have to go cut his half pound? Why didn't they let him get away with it?

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