UFC: Don't try to compare Robert Whittaker to Georges St-Pierre

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September 30th, 2019

Alex Prates has his hands full preparing Robert Whittaker for the fight of his career against Israel Adesanya at UFC 243 on Saturday, October 5, but he had some choice words about his charge that are equal parts sour grapes and lunacy.

Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya odds

Robert WhittakerIsrael Adesanya
Speaking to MMA Fighting, Prates said Whittaker "is a better version of GSP." While there is nothing wrong with trying to prop up his fighter, Whittaker and Prates are irked that the legendary Georges St-Pierre retired instead of facing Whittaker, after St-Pierre made his astounding comeback and defeated Michael Bisping for the middleweight UFC title.

Make no mistake, Whittaker is a very good fighter and his run at middleweight has been commendable. A pair of wins over Yoel Romero, and victories against Derek Brunson and Uriah Hall, have cemented his status as one of the best middleweights in the world, but even defeating Adesanya would not put him in the orbit of a fighter like St-Pierre.

Outside of their backgrounds in karate and wrestling, there isn't an ocean big enough to fill the gap between the accomplishments of these two champions.
At his peak, St-Pierre was unquestionably the best fighter in the UFC. His résumé is littered with all-time greats over the course of 15 years and defeated every man who stepped in the cage with him. While not undefeated St-Pierre avenged his losses to Matt Hughes and Matt Serra in dominant, conclusive fashion.

St-Pierre wasn't just the best welterweight at the time. He cleaned the division out. Had St-Pierre not stepped away from the sport in 2013, he would have spent those four years at the top of the division. Instead he returned after four years away from the sport and dominated Bisping to win a title in a second division.

That is evidence of a fighter that transcends the sport. Whittaker defeating Adesanya would leave him the king of the division, but outside of moving up to light heavyweight and to defeat Jon Jones, Whittaker's status remains as it was going into this fighta very good fighter with the potential to become great.

St-Pierre was a once-in-a-lifetime talent, whose body of work is decorated with great fighters and set the bar for greatness. Whittaker will have plenty of say on whether he can rise to that level, but a GSP, he will never be.

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