2009 Fighter of the Year: Georges St. Pierre

No one had a resume in 2009 like Georges "Rush" St. Pierre

As we enter the last year of the decade, it’s time to look back at the best of 2009.  In combat sports, fighters only compete about twice a year.  For those few times a year where we are fortunate enough to witness the best at their craft, it becomes the rare opportunity to evaluate who is truly the very best.  In 2009, Georges “Rush” St. Pierre emerged as the man on top of the MMA mountain.

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St. Pierre pummeled Penn to end a 3 year debate of who is better.

Naturally there will be a few detractors claiming Anderson Silva was the year’s best or even “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko.  It could not be further from the truth as neither man engaged in two mega matches like GSP did in 2009.  At UFC94, GSP faced an old and dangerous foe in “The Prodigy” BJ Penn.  Their 1st encounter in 2006 resulted in a split decision in favor of GSP and the rematch was as highly anticipated as any rematch in recent memory.  GSP and Penn are MMA’s two most well rounded athletes who neutralize each other in many ways to make for a very compelling match up.  Unlike Anderson & Fedor’s foes in ’09, BJ Penn can be found on virtually every Pound for Pound list.  Georges St. Pierre smashed Penn from the opening frame until Penn’s corner mercifully stopped the beating at the end of Round 4. The victory further distanced GSP from the rest of his peers.

GSP bullied "The Pitbull" and established himself the best of 2009.

Not to rest on his laurels, at UFC’s centennial event St. Pierre would face #1 contender Thiago Alves.  The larger and hard-hitting Alves had many believing it would be the end of the GSP era in the welterweight division.  Georges St. Pierre would prove his doubters wrong again through five brutal rounds. He punished Alves with a perfect mixture of boxing, wrestling and a nice dose of ground and pound.  Alves was a bigger threat to GSP than any of Anderson or Fedor’s challengers were to their respective reigns.  Even the pulled groin muscle GSP suffered in the 3rd round wasn’t enough to prevent him from steamrolling through Alves.  He took Alves’ best shots that lay to rest any concerns regarding his chin.  Immediately following the final bell, a bloodied and battered Alves raised St. Pierre’s hand paying homage to 2009’s king of MMA.

By trouncing a future Hall of Famer and the baddest welterweight other than himself, St. Pierre’s brilliance in 2009 has made him virtually peerless in MMA’s most talented division in the sport’s most competitive organization.  He continues to be a great ambassador for the sport and a model for MMA’s future.  It cannot be denied that he is, without doubt, the runaway choice for Best Fighter of 2009.

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