What will happen if Royce Gracie and Georges St-Pierre, in their primes, meet inside famed octagon?
Gracie broke into mainstream consciousness when he won the first two UFC tournaments. His gutsy performance against bigger opponents endeared him to fight fans and helped fan the flames that would lift mixed martial arts.
After establishing his name in native Quebec, St-Pierre burst to UFC scene and immediately placed himself in contention for the welterweight title. His lengthy reign atop the division alone places at par with the greatest fighters of all-time.
They’ve got differing styles, but there is a common denominator between them – both are Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners. Of course, BJJ has always been associated with the Gracie name. Meanwhile, GSP got his BJJ training under Royce’s cousin, Renzo.
However, this dream fight will be decided beyond BJJ skills.
From the get-go, Gracie will aim to take the fight to the ground, as he always did, and immediately assume the dominant position. He’ll do his best to stymie GSP while slowly inching his way to setup and apply and the submission hold.
GSP needs to be busy once Gracie goes for the takedown and he has been great at doing that. In order to keep up with full-pledged grappler like Gracie, one needs to stay active while at the same time conserving energy. St-Pierre had managed to endure and go to the distance in nearly half of his matches, so he’ll find himself accustomed to the ground game.
As such, there is a big chance that this fight will go to the cards, but it could go the other way. There is a low chance that GSP will allow Gracie to sneak in a submission maneuver, but there is the possibility that St-Pierre will be able to slip a punch or two that can tilt the match into his favor.
And this is what separates the two. Gracie can throw punches, but they’re not as hard and crunching like GSP’s. Yes, Gracie can hold, stymie, and clinch onto St-Pierre, but once there is an opening, it is window of opportunity that the Canadian cannot dare to let pass in order to weaken his foe’s body.
It will be a close call come judges’ decision, heck it may even turn up as draw for posterity’s sake. But if St-Pierre manages to weave and land punches and kicks, then Montreal will all be up again and rejoicing.
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