Reigning UFC Welterweight Champion George St. Pierre has never been a fan of rounds. He has said in the past that he would prefer fights to be continuous. In a recent interview, he reiterated his point.
“I believe MMA should not [have] rounds,” GSP said to MMAjunkie.com. “A regular fight, for example, should be fifteen minutes nonstop, and a championship fight should be twenty-five minutes nonstop.”
In its early days, the UFC did not have rounds. The fights were uninterrupted until the time ran out. However, political pressure on the sport began to take its toll, and in order to survive the UFC added rounds in 1999 at UFC 21. Today, non-title fights in the UFC are three five-minute rounds, and title fights are five five-minute rounds.
Many other rules and regulations pertaining to the safety of the fighters have also been put into effect over the years. For example, Kicks and knee strikes to a downed opponent were originally allowed in the UFC, but were later banned for public perception purposes in order to make it easier for the sport to go mainstream.
GSP believes that buy dividing the fights into rounds, the natural progression of the fight becomes ruined.
“I think by doing rounds, we’re breaking the momentum of the fight and making the fight different,” said the champ. “I think the rounds have been added in the past because they want it to be more similar to boxing, but I believe in MMA, we are our own sport. We should not try to copy any other sport.”
GSP is currently scheduled to take on former OSU All American wrestler Johny Hendricks on November 16th at UFC 167.