Georges St-Pierre was far from spectacular, but champions find ways to win. The UFC welterweight champ couldn't take out Jake Shields, but he had enough to survive blurred vision in his left eye and post a unanimous decision win, 48-47, 50-45 and 48-47, in the main event of UFC 129 in front of 55,000 fans at Rogers Centre in Toronto.
Even in front his home country faithful, GSP heard some boos,� jeers and whistling in the final round. Because of a damaged left eye, he struggled at times to engage over the final two rounds. He finished the fight with blood dripping down his face and a swollen eye.
"I wasn't able to see. I think it's scratched inside. I can't see with my left. I just see a blur. It's very bad," St-Pierre said during a conversation with UFC color voice Joe Rogan, as he was blinking and testing the vision out of the left.
St-Pierre, as he often does following decision victories, apologized to the massive crowd.
St-Pierre (22-2, 17-2 UFC) said thought he'd dominate in the standup game, "and then put and put him down later in the fight. I couldn't deliver much with this [eye]. I wanted to make a KO or submission."
St-Pierre has won nine straight fights and defended the title six times in a row. A bunch of those wins (six) have come via decision. He's a smart fighter, so he's often unwilling to take the risk required to go for the kill.
Before GSP's eye was damaged late in the third round, Shields looked silly on the feet. The former Strikeforce middleweight champ looked silly and slow. Shields (26-5-1, 1-1 UFC) is a renowned jiu-jitsu practitioner, but he never came close to scoring a takedown. He simply lacked the athleticism to catch St-Pierre.
Nelson Hamilton and Richard Bertrand posted the 48-47 scores, while Doug Crosby called it a blowout at 50-45. The FightMetric numbers tell a different story. Shields actually outlanded St-Piere 96-92, but GSP was much more accurate making good on 36.5 to 22.6 percent. Shields downfall was his inability to get the fight to the ground. He was 0-for-6 on takedown attempts while GSP put him down 2-of-3 times.