I've been debating about writing about this since it's almost like beating a dead horse now even though we are only one day removed from the fight. However, I've read quite a bit of negative backlash about GSP's performance at UFC 111. He fought too safe, he did this or he didn't do that. So I thought I'd give my take on it with this post.
First of all, GSP absolutely dominated that fight and to say otherwise is absurd.
I thought GSP really tried to finish that fight and the armbar attempt in the first round as well as the multiple kimura attempts in the latter part of the fight are proof of that. However, the finish not happening is a direct result of two things. Dan Hardy must be given credit where it's due and lesser men would have tap on BOTH of those submission attempts. The other half is that GSP is simply too nice and didn't want to break Hardy's arm. However, that's another can of worms we won't tackle today. Imagine the ridiculous stuff that the New York media and politicians of that state would have came up with as a result of that happening. Not to mention that Rousimar Palhares tried to take home Tomasz Drwal's leg home with him earlier in the nights broadcast.
My only complaint about GSP's performance was that I thought he should have attempted to do more damage while on the ground. While watching the fight, it seemed as though he was playing more of the position game and looking for submissions instead of trying to inflict damage in this one. Had he had offered more ground and pound, the likely hood of submissions becoming available would have increased. However, once you look at the fightmetric numbers from the fight, the guy did land 164 strikes(49 of those were considered power shots) while on the ground. GSP even admitted as much in his post fight interview that can be found here. That's the same interview where he said that Dan Hardy was in the same league as Jon Fitch and Thiago Alves.
Now, don't necessarily agree with that statement, but Hardy did take a lot less damage than both Fitch and Alves. That could be a direct result of GSP's game plan or maybe Hardy is better at avoiding punishment on the ground than Fitch and Alves?