Future Betting Odds: The Many Potential Opponents for Georges St-Pierre

| November 20, 2012 | 3:02 pm | Reply

Georges St-PierreOn November 17th, after a 19 month layoff due to a knee injury, Georges St-Pierre returned to his division to unify the titles. Taking on a game challenger in Carlos Condit at UFC 154, GSP showed that not only was he back in fighting form, he was perhaps even better than he left. We saw not only his pure athletic abilities and prowess in different aspects of MMA itself, but the grit of a champion as he went five hard rounds, and bounced back from a near fall in the third round.

While the security of his title against Condit was secure with a unanimous decision, the future of Georges St-Pierre remains up in the air with many possible opponents on the horizon. This installment of the Future Betting Odds will deal with GSP and every potential opponent we could see the undisputed champion engaged in. Some he might beat with ease and others might send him back to the drawing board, but all are intriguing fights in their own way. So, let’s dig in to what Georges St-Pierre has in his future with some comparison betting odds and fight previews.

Georges St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks

GSP -280

Hendricks +210

Super fights aside, this is the most realistic next match up for the Welterweight champion. Having defeated Jon Fitch and Martin Kampmann with a single punch leading up to this bout, Hendricks has forged a reputation as one of the hardest hitters there is. With a background in wrestling on the national stage, Hendricks has all the skills to beat GSP on paper. In reality, Hendricks wrestling has never panned out to be as spectacular as you might like, with his inability to adjust to the cage being evident in his bouts with Rick Story and Charlie Brenneman.

What Hendricks does have is the right attitude to beat GSP. Very few men will face GSP and attack without fear of what the champion can do to them, and this is what needs to be done to defeat the champion. Condit had his best moments in their fight by being first on the attack, and Hendricks has the mindset of coming in hard and finishing the fight fast. It’s this forward movement that makes or breaks the fight, and while Hendricks can move in and land his power, this is exactly what GSP needs to hit takedowns on the NCAA champion. Once on the mat, this is GSP’s game and one Hendricks can’t win, making GSP a favorite to hold onto his belt in this scenario.

Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz

GSP -400

Diaz +300

While Hendricks certainly has a claim to the next title bout, many were left with a sour taste in their mouth following Diaz vs. Condit. With Diaz being the original recipient of a title bout, his lack of dedication to his media duties saw him removed from the match, and GSP’s injury saw him thrown right back into the mix with an interim title bout against Condit. This fight was infamous for Condit’s stick and move tactic that many saw as a losing effort to Diaz, but the judges gave Condit the win and a subsequent drug suspension put Diaz on the shelf for a year. While Diaz isn’t next in line for the title in a lineal sense, an injury to Hendricks or the outcry of fans could very well set this fight in motion.

Diaz is one of the toughest men to ever step into the cage, and winning a fist fight against him in essentially impossible. This is why smarter fighters never even try, and I would count GSP as a smart man indeed. On the mat, Diaz is a famed BJJ black belt under Cesar Gracie, yet his grappling style is one of stale predictability. Grapplers with a head for the game have stuffed Diaz on the mat, and GSP could easily turn this fight into a wrestling affair Diaz can’t win. Fast takedowns and relentless top control would seal the deal for GSP, either by decision on a TKO if Diaz scar tissue can’t hold up.

Georges St-Pierre vs. Anderson Silva

Silva -260

GSP +200

While I’m not sure this super fight ever happens, it’s the one Dana White and the majority of MMA fans want to see. As both men have effectively cleared out their divisions and are considering winding down their careers, the question remains if either of them wants to take the chance of tarnishing their legacy, even if it could be a record pay-day.

Politics and hype aside, I don’t think this fight is all that competitive. This isn’t a knock against GSP in any way, but the simple fact that there is too much of a size discrepancy between the divisions, and Silva is exactly the kind of fighter to beat GSP. With GSP having to deal with the greatest striker to ever grace MMA at a size disadvantage, his only method of victory would be an ill-fated takedown and top control game. Silva isn’t impossible to put on the mat, but wading through his tremendous reach and striking power just isn’t reasonable. This is a fight GSP can’t win, and this is why I don’t think we ever see it.

Georges St-Pierre vs. Rory MacDonald

GSP -200

MacDonald +160

Another possible opponent in a pinch, the stars would have to truly align for this to happen. Yet, stranger things have occurred in the sport and with injuries and drug tests being a malignant issue; MacDonald may find himself in this fight if he makes it past BJ Penn. While I’m sure MacDonald is a future champion, I’m not sure he has the mindset to beat GSP at this stage of his career, though he poses perhaps the greatest danger to the champion. With a better mind of combat than his mentor and equal athletic talents, this comes down to strength and conditioning. MacDonald is simply too young to have developed his body fully at this point and will be a power disadvantage against similar sized fighters, which becomes a major factor with other areas being equal. A spirited effort, but too soon for MacDonald, should this fight go down.

Georges St-Pierre vs. BJ Penn 3

GSP -500

Penn +350

Yet another fight that hinges on the improbable, this would require Penn to make it past MacDonald with a convincing win. While this fight doesn’t make a ton of sense in terms of the division, it does make sense in a financial sense, as the UFC has been looking to break into Hawaii for some time now. If this fight was made, the commission would be forced to get itself in gear, and it would be a sell-out event in Hawaii. Despite sales though, this would be another easy match for GSP, as Penn’s new direction in the realm of wrestling just doesn’t pan out against GSP. While the last game plan might not work out, Penn has shown a complete inability to adapt mid-fight and it would only take a few adjustments for the champion to work his ferocious top game against Penn, snagging a third win.

Georges St-Pierre vs. Benson Henderson

GSP -240

Henderson +190

While the idea of super fights has been thrown around between GSP – Silva and Silva – Jones, I feel this one is actually the most competitive of them all. Henderson has developed into one of the most complete fighters in the business while being blessed with a near immunity to submissions, making him a difficult opponent to plan against. GSP has a size advantage here and his boxing could keep Henderson on the outside, but Henderson’s speed and ability to roll with complete reckless abandon could allow him to steal rounds and possibly ensnare GSP in a submission. It’s an unlikely fight to say the least, but one that could get the super fight ball rolling.

Who will stand across from Georges St-Pierre next should be a bet in itself but hopefully we’ve got them covered above.

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Category: Betting, Exclusive, Featured, MMA, Opinion, UFC

Mike Hammersmith (Featured Staff Writer)

About the Author ()

I'm a 20+ year veteran of martial arts and a fan of MMA since UFC 1, when my world was thrown on its head by the budding sport. I'm obsessive in the pursuit of martial abilities and have competed across the country in everything from Vale Tudo to archery to Scottish broadsword. Once my body broke down, I picked up a pen and went in the direction of writing. I specialize in betting advice, predictions, and I'm a walking encyclopedia of MMA trivia. I own a cafe in Exeter, NH called Hammersmith Sandwich Company and write out of my office between customers.

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