The lay and pray dilemma has also been tied to six-time defending UFC welterweight champion, George St. Pierre. For the French-Canadian who ranks among the pound for pound best fighters in the sport, his conservative fighting style has given him success as well as critique.
"This guy is under high pressure," Rutten said. "He's been champion for so long he's got big endorsements and he fights in front of 50,000 of his own people, you know, and losing is not an option at that moment. And when you play like that where losing is not an option you would play it safe. Ufortunately we've seen it a couple times now and everybody is complaining about it. In my mind I know what he is capable of doing and you guys know what he is capable of doing. As for me it's just a shame for me to see an athlete that doesn't go to his full potential.
"He could knock out a guy with simple knees to the thighs knees to the body like he did in the Serra rematch. The knockout, that's the most important thing, all that pressure, but the time that he took a risk, he got knocked out. So needless to say, in your next fight your going to fight cautious. You never want it happening again."
Rutten hopes that St. Pierre would eventually return with the killer instinct seen in his early UFC fights, notably prior to the Serra loss. A fighter who Rutten believes could bring the old St. Pierre back is Nick Diaz. The two are slated to fight at UFC 137.
Diaz is known for setting a relentless pace which also makes him one of the more entertaining fighters. Rutten notes that a takedown from St. Pierre is inevitable but with Diaz's renowned cardio, an active guard will force St. Pierre to stay busy and hopefully force the French-Canadian to put Diaz away.
"Nick Diaz also on my list of top-10 all time, I love this guy," Rutten said. "If he fights his fight, he can win. He never runs out of gas, I truly hope that from his back he's going to fight. He's going to be like a Cain Velasquez. Fight, fight, fight to get up, to look for submissions. That's what I want to see. If you see that, it's going to be an interesting fight because it's going to push George to show what I think he has in him. And then if George shines he can knockout you out or submit you. That's just the way he is, but if he plays it safe and he says, 'You know what, I don't want to get submitted on the ground,' then he would take [Diaz] down and hold him down. It's one of the two."
Rutten himself was never at risk of facing the criticism which befell St. Pierre. With his trademark liver shots and vaunted kickboxing, the Dutchman was one of the most exciting and feared fighters of his day. Frank Shamrock, Kevin Randleman, Guy Mezger, Maurice Smith, Masakatsu Funaki and Minoru Suzuki are just some of the notables on...