12 years ago today, former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes submitted Georges Saint Pierre with an armbar with just seconds left until the end of the first round.
GSP would of course go on to not just avenge the Hughes loss (two times over), he also went on to become the most dominant 170 pound fighter in UFC history.
— Kieran Fallon (@KieranFallon3) October 22, 2016
Hughes first took on GSP all the way back at UFC 50 in 2004. Back then, Saint Pierre was only seven fights into his professional MMA career, while Hughes had already amassed a 37-4 record.
Georges Saint Pierre received his first title shot against Matt Hughes after defeating Jay Heiron by quick TKO at UFC 48. At the time, GSP was already being touted as the “new breed” welterweight with the athleticism to match his MMA skills.
GSP lost his first shot at UFC gold after Hughes tapped him out with an armbar with just one second left in the first round.
After his loss to Hughes, GSP went on an absolute tear through the welterweight division, defeating the likes of Sean Sherk, Frank Trigg and our very own BJ Penn in a highly contested decision.
By the time Saint Pierre earned his rematch with Hughes for the 170 pound belt, the French Canadian was far more confident and experienced than in their first go-around. GSP ended up finishing Hughes with a head kick in the second round at UFC 65, two years after their first fight.
GSP would lose the belt in his first title defense in a massive upset loss to Matt Serra, who is still the only man to finish the former champion with strikes in his entire career.
Once again, GSP avenged another loss in his rematch with Serra, and kept the welterweight belt on his waist form 2008 to 2013, when he relinquished the belt and retired after a split decision win over Johny Hendricks.
But that moment in time lives on in MMA infamy, and is probably Matt Hughes’ finest performance in his long and storied UFC career.
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