UFC News: NHL star uses Georges St-Pierre's 'Superman Punch' during ice hockey match
What's the story?
Canadian UFC superstar Georges St-Pierre is set to return to action next weekend. But we've already been given a sneak preview of one of his most famous techniques - the 'Superman Punch' - thanks to a viral moment that took place during the Anaheim Ducks @ Philadelphia Flyers NHL game this past week.
In case you didn't know...
The 'Superman Punch', a flying punch technique, was made famous by St-Pierre during his second long-running reign as undisputed UFC welterweight champion from 2007 to 2013.
Throughout his nine world title defences during that run St-Pierre showcased the 'Superman Punch' on multiple occasions, popularising the move and bringing it to the attention of MMA fans around the world.
Today, the 'Superman Punch' is a common sight during MMA contests, particularly during striking-based contests where the fighters have become less mobile.
The heart of the matter
But this week, just one week ahead of St-Pierre's long-awaited return at UFC 217, we saw the technique used in a slightly different situation - during an ice hockey match.
The NHL clash between the Anaheim Ducks and the Philadelphia Flyers delivered a highlight-reel moment of a non-hockey kind, as the Ducks' Kevin Bieksa and Flyers' Radko Gudas squared up on the ice.
But rather than the usual tie up and haymaker approach, Bieksa took a page from St-Pierre's playbook and unleashed a 'Superman Punch' that stunned his opposite number.
The punch made the big TV roundup shows Stateside, and eventually came to St-Pierre's attention.
"I've thrown the superman punch many ways" the UFC superstar tweeted.
"But [I] would never try it on the ice!!!"
And Bieksa later revealed via his Twitter account that 'GSP' was indeed his inspiration for throwing that technique on the ice.
He tweeted: "Lots of ppl asking - been throwing the SMP for over a decade. Some land some miss. @GeorgesStPierre was a big part of the inspiration for it."
Fans may well get to see the 'Superman Punch' next weekend when he makes his comeback at Madison Square Garden.
St-Pierre takes on undisputed UFC middleweight champion Michael 'The Count' Bisping in the main event of UFC 217.
It's a fight that has been months in the making, with the UFC originally hoping to stage the event earlier this summer, before St-Pierre declared himself not ready to return.
The fight was eventually locked in for the main event spot on November 4 at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The event is the UFC's second event at The Garden, following Conor McGregor's historic win over Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 last November.
Bisping v St-Pierre is the headline act at UFC 217, with two more world title fights set to join them on the card.
The co-main event features a battle for the undisputed UFC bantamweight title as former teammates and heated rivals Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw face off with Garbrandt's 135lb title on the line.
And there's gold on the line in the third big bout of the night, as undisputed UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk takes on top contender 'Thug' Rose Namajunas for the women's' 115lb belt.
Here is an analysis of GSP's Superman Punch:
Bisping vs St-Pierre is shaping up to be a superb matchup, as the Brit looks to add another iconic name to his list of victims, having already beaten legends Anderson Silva and Dan Henderson.
St-Pierre returns at a new weight class and will be undersized and underpowered against the bigger, stronger Bisping. But that's not stopping the bookmakers favouring the Canadian in the matchup.
Personally, I think this is a fight where Bisping holds all the aces. He's bigger, stronger, more powerful and more active. For St-Pierre to come back at a higher weight class and win is a big ask. But to do it against one of the fittest, fastest, most experienced middleweights in the world (and the world champ, no less) is just a bridge too far.
It'll make for a fascinating contest, but I think anything other than a Bisping win should be considered a shock.
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