(5-0-0) vs. Karo Parisyan ( 46 Supernatural, Jan. 31, 2004):
When GSP beat Spratt he was invited by the UFC to face Karo Parisyan in UFC 46 Supernatural. St-Pierre jumped at the chance and it was the beginning of his road to the UFC Championship belt. Parisyan, a judo expert and a submission crazy man (10-2, 8 wins by submission), was St-Pierre’s toughest opponent to date.
Although St-Pierre dominated the fight in his typical ground-and-pound style, Parisyan twice got St-Pierre in trouble with attempts at kimuras, the most serious in the second round when Parisyan locked it in but St-Pierre used brute force to break it. This was St-Pierre’s first fight to go the distance and he won by unanimous decision.
Georges St-Pierre vs. Karo Parisyan:
Georges St-Pierre (6-0-0) vs. Jay Hieron (UFC 48 Payback, June 19, 2004):
Jay Hieron, a boxing and wrestling specialist without a loss in his professional career at the time (4-0), was GSP’s next opponent. Just under six months after beating Parisyan by unanimous decision in his UFC debut, St-Pierre shows the dominant American MMA organization what he is capable of doing with Hieron.
This fight lasted less than two minutes as GSP out-boxed the boxer, landing numerous punches to Hieron’s head. It first started with a right hand then left hook, which put Hieron to the ground. After recovering from a flurry of punches by St-Pierre, Hieron got to his feet only to be dropped for a second time by a right cross. Surprisingly, Hieron got up again, but St-Pierre went in for the kill, dropping Hieron for a third and final time with a right and left cross. Referee Steve Mazzagatti stopped the fight when St-Pierre followed in with numerous punches to the downed American.
Georges St-Pierre vs. Jay Hieron video:
Georges St-Pierre (7-0-0) vs. Matt Hughes (UFC 50 The War of ’04, Oct. 22, 2004):
It took until his eighth professional fight for Georges St-Pierre to come up against someone of substance. Matt Hughes, presently a Hall of Fame UFC fighter, is one of the greats of the sport. At the time of this fight, Hughes was 36-4 and dominated the welterweight division. Only BJ Penn gave him any problems since winning the Championship belt against Canadian Carlos Newton three years earlier (Penn took the belt from Hughes in January 2004, only to be stripped of it due to a contract dispute with the UFC).
With the belt up for grabs, St-Pierre had his first title shot against the older and more experienced Hughes. Hughes was determined to get the belt back, having defended it successfully five times before the BJ Penn loss.
The fight lasted only one round. Hughes gave GSP his first loss of his professional career. In the final seconds of the round, after taking St-Pierre to the ground and unsuccessfully trying to pummel the French-Canadian with a barrage of fists, Hughes reversed St-Pierre’s attempt at a kimura into an arm bar, which forced GSP to tap-out.
Georges St-Pierre vs. Matt Hughes video:
Georges St-Pierre (7-1-0) vs. Dave Strasser (TKO 19 Rage, Jan. 29, 2005):
For his ninth fight, Georges St-Pierre returned to Montreal to continue the Canadian side of his career for TKO. Dave Strasser came up from the U.S. to fight the French-Canadian and had an impressive 21-5-4 record at the time (again, ignore the incorrect record shown in the video below). Although not in the same league as a Matt Hughes, Strasser was no novice in the ring.
GSP made short work of Strasser in a similar fashion to his defeat of Justin Bruckmann in 2002 (GSP’s second professional fight). St-Pierre took Strasser to the ground, passed his guard, isolated his arm and applied a submission hold (a kimura this time rather than an arm bar) to force a tap-out.
Georges St-Pierre vs. Dave Strasser Fight Video:
Georges St-Pierre (8-1-0) vs. Jason Miller (UFC 52 Couture vs. Liddell 2, Apr. 16, 2005):
It wasn’t long before GSP returned to the U.S. and the UFC. Less than three months after defeating Dave Strasser, St-Pierre appeared in the octagon at UFC 52 in Las Vegas. GSP’s 10th opponent was Jason Miller (Miller made his UFC debut with the bout). Miller was 12-3 at the time gaining most of his experience under the SuperBrawl franchise.
The most entertaining of all of GSP’s fights so far, this one lasted the full three rounds. Miller who showed off his Muay Thai, attacking GSP with a hanuman thayarn (flying knee strike), his Brazilian Jiu-jitsu by escaping numerous mounts by St-Pierre, and his knowledge of the rubber guard by using it on St-Pierre although with no success.
But saying all that, GSP dominated Miller the full three rounds, employing superman punches, reverse kicks, axe kicks, spinning back fists, and numerous take downs into full mounts or side controls. St-Pierre also had a kimura in the first, and an arm bar in the second that Miller escaped from (with the help of some flexibility and the clock). But it was St-Pierre’s ground-and-pound technique that sealed Miller’s fate.