The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s welterweight champion, Georges St. Pierre, isn’t the most talkative guy in the world, but the Canadian had a lot to say during an appearance on the April 23 episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience.”
Apparently, GSP has a problem with the current round format adopted by the UFC — and many other MMA promotions around the globe.
“There’s a lot of things I would have changed in the sport,” St. Pierre stated. “First of all, the time, there [should be] no time, no round. I think seriously… I believe it is stupid, the round. If you want to see who is the best man, let them fight; fifteen minutes or maybe 25 minutes for the championship. No rounds. Why the round? Why are we trying to be like boxing? We’re not boxers, they did rounds to be like boxing to be accepted as a sport. … No rounds. I think this is ridiculous. … I would rather fight with a rule like this. I think it would be more honest, like, who’s the better man? Let them fight.”
Those who have followed MMA since its early days probably still have some nostalgia about the good old days when UFC and Pride FC fights didn’t follow the current round format (Pride never fully adopted it). Back then, fighters didn’t get any breaks until a victor emerged. Time limits were rarely enforced, leading to classics like Royce Gracie vs. Kazushi Sakuraba I — which lasted 90 minutes before Royce’s corner threw in the towel.
While the idea of going back to the earlier format might sound appealing to some, such rules aren’t practical for MMA at this point. With states like New York still bucking the budding sport — and many who still think it’s barbaric — it’s simply not a good look for the UFC or any other promotion for that matter.
Besides, the quality of a fight goes up when fighters get a chance to catch their breath and regain their senses, as fatigue turns even the most technically skilled fighters into novices.