Monday, March 29, 2010

DSTRYRsg Not Impressed (Enough) with GSP's SUBMISSION Performance!

Although I'm sure it's being discussed ad nauseum, we here at DSTRYRsg find it necessary to point out a few grappling-specific points from the big UFC 111 - namely George St. Pierre's lacking grappling skills.

I'm the first to agree that GSP is the best pound-for-pound fighter around - hands down. And, I even favored him over the very exalted (sometimes excessively) BJJ legend BJ Penn in their past fights. BUT, despite his dominance on Saturday during his bout with Dan Hardy, his grappling skills lacked in certain areas.

GSP is without rival in the area of takedowns, guard passing and maintaining side control and mount. He also show seemingly black belt level skills in his overall dominance and control on the ground. What he seemed to lack on Saturday was a clear path toward submission. Hardy doesn't claim to be a skilled grappler (from the research I've done); he mainly seems to work toward escape when on the ground so that he can strike. Yet GSP seemed without the proper arsenal to finish the fight on the ground. Here's what I saw:

Failure to Maintain the Back. Although he took the back twice, but both times rode too high and eventually allowed Hardy to come out the backdoor. This is Grappling 101. I was very surprised to see this.

Poor Armbar Attempt. People seemed to think this was a great escape on Hardy's part, and he did do a good job in rolling out of the armbar (maybe those few weeks with Matt Serra helped him out). But GSP's hips were too far away from the arm, and when he leaned back he didn't have the leverage he need to finish.

Poor Kimura Attempt. I watched the fight with my old teammate, Kenny Bond, and we both noted that GSP seemed hesitant with the kimura. Although it appeared to be deep, Hardy wasn't tapping, indicating it was off. It looked as though GSP didn't want to fully commit and roll though (which would have allowed him to sink it thoroughly), possibly losing his side control/quasi-North-South position.

So, there. Just a few observations. I still think he's the best, but I'm disappointed he's not the "world class" grappler I wanted him to be. If he were, he'd have had that fight finished in Round 1. Maybe he needs to add Jacaré and/or Galvao to his camp for his next fight! Props also due to Hardy for being a tough bastard and weathering those submission attempts.

Again yet we see the magnitude and extreme importance of jiu jitz!!!


  1. I agree with pretty much everything you said here. G.S.P. dominated when it comes to control. Dan Hardy couldn't defend his takedowns, couldn't get out of his mount or side control. But G.S.P. couldn't finish Hardy off.

    Whether or not G.S.P.'s submissions weren't up to par, Dan Hardy did do a good job of defending himself. And I have to give props to my boy Hardy for lasting 5 rounds, even being severely outmatched on the ground!! ;)

  2. My guests were cracking up that I had the "audacity" to point out exactly what the champ was doing wrong on his sub attempts. I was a bit alcohol animated but my points were spot on.

  3. Not only were GSP's hips not deep enough, but he didn't even try lifting his hips to finish!! Elevating your hips to complete a submission is a first-week white belt lesson. He had the arm nicely isolated, but only used his arms in trying to finish. He never attempted to elevate his hips, he just went arm against leverage...hence no submission.

  4. YES, my Grappling Brothers and Sisters!!

  5. Consider also that perhaps GSP didn't want to debilitate Hardy, a fellow competitor. Perhaps GSP's code of fighting ethics, counter to most, is to win without doing lasting harm. Is he just that good? Maybe, but he certainly outclassed Hardy in this one.

  6. @Anonymous...I wish that were the case. It would be nice to think that GSP has so much confidence and control that he could abandon a decent arm bar attempt in order to avoid injury to his opponent. However, his post-fight comments tell otherwise. He said that he didn't know why he couldn't finish the armbar....that he was obviously doing something wrong....and that he is going to ask his BJJ coach right away.

  7. He needed to pinch his knees together, both on the straight armbar and the kimura. His natural wrestler tendency to spraddle for base worked against him in both instances.

  8. dr. charles martoneMarch 29, 2010 at 9:16 PM

    yeah hip that shit in... too much time spent jumping hurdles and shaving his legs.


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