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Hughes or GSP: Who is Greatest UFC Welterweight of All Time? Fan’s Take
With the way in which George St-Pierre has dominated the welterweight division over the past four years, the question has been asked countless times. Who is the greatest welterweight in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship? In most cases, it is either St-Pierre or Matt Hughes that are mentioned.
St-Pierre has won the UFC welterweight title three times (if you count the interim title), and has defended the gold six times. Hughes won the title on two occasions, with seven successful title defenses. When you compare those figures, both fighters appear even.
One of the factors that may put Hughes ahead on some scorecards is the impact he had on the revitalization of the sport after the start of The Ultimate Fighter. One of the most memorable fights in UFC history was Hughes vs. Frank Trigg 2. After a low blow to Hughes, Trigg pounced on the champion, only to see Hughes recover and win via rear-naked choke. The advantage St-Pierre has is his age. At just 30-years-old, he has a lot of good fighting years left to help propel his status past that of Hughes.
Another thing one could look at it is head-to-head fights. These two men fought three times, with St-Pierre winning twice. For me, their fights against each other don't play into the argument of which fighter is the greatest. Had they fought while they were both in their prime, who knows what the outcomes would be then?
The one factor that could play the most important role is who else they beat, and where they were in their careers. Hughes defeated Trigg twice, Sean Sherk, Carlos Newton, Royce Gracie and B.J. Penn. He also defeated his arch rival, Matt Serra, who was the man who shocked the world to take the welterweight title away from St-Pierre. Over the course of his career, St-Pierre has defeated Penn twice, Jon Fitch, Jake Shields, Serra, Sherk, Josh Koscheck, Jason Miller, and Trigg. The level of competition has been greater for St-Pierre during his career, but that can be due in fact to popularity of the sport because of what Hughes did for the sport.
I think both men have done enough for the sport that neither one could be called the greatest without a 1a and 1b situation. Should St-Pierre continue to roll through the division, then the choice would be simple. But for now, it's safe to say this is a draw.
For a look at the best fights for some of the most popular fighters in UFC history, go here .
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Hobson Lopes has been a fan of mixed martial arts since the days of Tank Abbott and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes .
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