Dan Hardy says Georges St-Pierre’s record, inside and outside the cage, makes him MMA’s GOAT

The debate over MMA’s greatest of all-time is one that always brings out interesting anecdotes and arguments from those involved in the sport. But, for former UFC welterweight title challenger Dan Hardy, Georges St-Pierre is without equal as an elite martial artist.

Chatting to MMA Junkie Radio, Hardy (25-10 MMA, 6-4 UFC) revealed his level of respect for St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC), who defeated him by unanimous decision in their welterweight title clash at UFC 111 in March 2010.

“He’s definitely on Mount Rushmore – he’s definitely one of the top four; I can’t see anybody else above him,” he stated. “The thing that makes ‘GSP’ stand aside (from the rest) is the fact that not only was he an excellent martial artist in the octagon, but he lived the lifestyle out of the octagon. He was squeaky clean – there were no run-ins with the police, no failed drug tests, nothing like that. The losses that he had, he came back and won. I always think that proves an excellent martial artist, someone that found a limitation and then managed to push their way through it.

“Obviously I’m biased, because I spent a bit of time getting to know him, himself, in his home gym and everything. He’s a fantastic martial artist, he operates on a very high level. It’s difficult to put anybody else above him.”

Hardy also shared his admiration for former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, saying that the Brazilian’s “mastery of skill is something that will always stand alone,” and admitted that he, like many fans of the sport, was disappointed that we never got to see the oft-discussed superfight between Silva and St-Pierre when the two fighters were at their peak.

“Obviously I’m disappointed it didn’t happen; it always kinda felt like the Mayweather-Pacquiao of MMA to me,” he said. “You want to see these two guys clash. Even if they fought now, it still wouldn’t be the same as it was when they were on top of the world.”

Hardy said St-Pierre and Silva sit at the top of his personal all-time great list, but the Canadian superstar just edged it in the head-to-head comparison between the pair.

“They’re the top ones for me,” he said. “But ‘GSP,’ as far as his track record and his character outside the UFC as well, and what he stands for as a martial artist, I think he has to be the GOAT for me.”

Looking back at his fight with St-Pierre, Hardy said it was a “highlight” and a “great opportunity” to face the Canadian in a five-round title fight.

“To spend 25 minutes in there with him, he was a challenge in every range, and I learned a lot from it,” he said. “To be in there with one of the best was amazing, and then to be able to go into his training camp afterward and help him prepare for a couple of fights, I learned a lot about him and how he puts his training camps together and how he structures things. It was fantastic.”

Hardy went the distance with St-Pierre and said that the pair’s relationship since that fight has developed to the point that they can both share their memories of the fight with a smile.

“So much time’s passed – 10 years now – and we’re in different places in our lives, and we can look back on it and reminisce with a lot more humor, I suppose is the best way of putting it,” he grinned. “But it was a lot of fun. ‘GSP’ is one of the greats of the sport, and he moved things along so much, including myself. We all had to raise ourselves to his level. For him to still be so humble and to have so much humility is quite amazing.”

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