He's been out of the game for four years, but Georges St-Pierre hasn't lost a step. Hell, he might have even gained one.
In his return to the octagon after 1,449 days away, St-Pierre (26-2) choked Michael Bisping (30-8) unconscious in the third round of their middleweight title bout on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, one of three title changes in three title fights at UFC 217. It was GSP's 13th consecutive win dating back to 2007.
St-Pierre's title victory is impressive not only because of his hiatus, but also because of his fighting weight. He moved up from welterweight to middleweight to challenge Bisping. With the win, he became one of four multi-division champions in UFC history, along with Conor McGregor, Randy Couture and B.J. Penn.
"Martial arts is not about the biggest balls, so to speak," St-Pierre said after the fight. "It's about setting traps and intelligence. I was fighting a bigger man, and I was trying to prove it tonight to all my fans."
Coming in after four years away from the sport, GSP was the clear fan favorite at MSG. And he gave the fans something to cheer about in the first round, connecting with a few jabs and scoring a takedown. He got Bisping with a second takedown in the second round, but at that point he seemed to be slowing down, the 15 extra pounds perhaps catching up to him.
In the third and decisive round, a gassed GSP got a third takedown on Bisping, but that only opened him up to a flurry of elbows. Bisping appeared to get the upper hand when he busted GSP open with an elbow to help him get off the canvas.
With both fighters back on their feet and square, GSP landed the killer blow, a quick left counter that floored Bisping. GSP jumped and poured blows on Bisping, but the Englishman didn't quit, rolling and writhing in an attempt to escape GSP's onslaught. But St-Pierre locked on a rear-naked choke that put Bisping to sleep for the middleweight title victory.
"He hurt me very hard," St-Pierre said. "Two times I tried to hide it, but man, I wouldn't like to do that fight again."
GSP's win over Bisping was only one of three stunning title changes at UFC 217.
Earlier in the night T.J. Dillashaw beat Cody Garbrandt to become a two-time UFC bantamweight champion. In the second round, Dillashaw dropped Garbrandt with a right and followed him to the floor to put the bout away.
The most shocking upset of the night came in the strawweight division.
Rose Namajunas pulled off a Holm-Rousey level upset with a swift knockout off Joanna Jedrzejczyk to win the strawweight championship. Namajunas, a 5-to-1 underdog, dominated Jedrzejczyk in the first round. Namajunas dropped Jedrzejczyk with a right then -- after her opponent recovered -- landed a devastating left to score a stunning KO.
"There's so much crap going on in the media and on the news and stuff and I just want to use my gifts to try to make this world a better place," Namajunas said after the fight. "This belt don't mean nothing man. just be a good person. This is extra."
Cy Brown writes about football, golf, soccer and other stuff for Sports on Earth. Follow him on Twitter @CEPBrown.