A Georges St. Pierre open workout had been held this past Wednesday in order to help promote the UFC 111 match up between St. Pierre and Dan Hardy.
It gave myself and the rest of the media a chance to watch Georges in action and catch some video and photos of his well rounded skills and intense training regimen.
Georges St. Pierre is a mixed martial artists with a lot of tools in his arsenal and they were on full display this past Wednesday at the Tristar Gym in Montreal.
All Photos in this slide show were provided Courtesy of: Luke Horne
Receiving a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Brown Belt in 2006 from the well known Renzo Gracie and a Black belt in 2008 under Bruno Fernandes is nothing to balk at.
Many fighters have entered the UFC with the bulk of their experience solely in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and had great success, Jiu-Jitsu ace Demian Maia comes to mind.
Although Georges is not a submission machine, his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is far from being a liability in the octagon.
Don't be surprised if we see something new when the fight hits the ground against Dan Hardy.
When asked about the fact that he has dominated his opponents on the ground of late, but has had difficulty finding submissions, Georges had this to say;
“I am much better than I used to be before on the ground, I made a lot of mistakes in my last fight and I won’t do it for this one.”
Striking is in Georges' blood, learning Kyokushin Karate from his father at the age of 7 and earning a 3rd degree black belt under a Karate Master during his teenage years.
As if that isn't enough, Georges also trains Muay Thai in New York under well known competitor turned teacher Phil Nurse.
With all that experience, Striking isn't even Geoges' biggest weapon in the Octagon in fact he uses it effectively to set up one of his biggest assets in mixed martial arts.
Georges' bread and butter in a fight is his wrestling and the shocking thing is that he has never really competed on an amateur circuit.
Specifically, he uses his seasoned striking ability to set up some of the most explosive take downs the sport has ever seen.
Wrestling has always been a great base for Mixed Martial Arts and luckily for Georges he has what fans and analysts alike consider the best wrestling suited for Mixed Martial Arts.
Although he never competed on the wrestling circuit, he does practice his wrestling with the Canadian Olympic Wrestling team and was/is considering a push for the Olympics.
When asked about the Olympic dream, he was not prepared to give a yes or no answer on the topic, but 2012 seems like a bit of a long shot.
"[laughs] You put me on the spot I am gonna have problems, I don't know yet. It all depends on the outcome of the next couple fights and what's gonna happen and right now I love fighting UFC, that's my main thing"
Of course having all the technique in the world is a great thing, but if you don't have the physical tools to implement the technique it becomes useless in practical situations.
That is why taking it easy is not an option for Georges St. Pierre.
One can tell from the sweat and focus on Georges' face in the above photograph that he puts in a 110 percent and is always training at full speed.
He has added 7 pounds of muscle to his frame and he implemented an Olympic power lifting regimen into his training. Fans had a chance to see some of the power lifting techniques Georges has incoporated in episode 1 of UFC Primetime.
Georges is known for his explosiveness, strength and overall conditioning. In fact Dan Hardy was quoted as saying "Georges St. Pierre is an athlete and I am a fighter ".
Although a controversial statement by Dan it is a testament to what fighters think of the athletic tools and level of conditioning Georges brings to the table.
It isn't just the God given athletic ability that gives Georges an edge in the strength and conditioning department it is his dedication and love towards the daily grind of training.
At Georges open training the Francophone media had a chance to hear Georges talk about how driven he is to train.
"A lot of boxers in the off season don't train at all, they get fat and put on weight, But for me that is not the case, I am always in shape. For sure between fights I'll go out with friends and have a couple of beers and stuff like that, it is normal. Even if I go out at night, the next day I am in the gym and you can ask all my trainers and they will say it is true."
The mental aspect in professional sports can often be over looked by the flashy moves and tremendous physical feats that make for a great spectacle.
Yogi Berra realized the importance of thinking in sports when he said "Baseball is 90% mental -- the other half is physical." and Bas Rutten a former competitor in the UFC said something along the same lines about fighting as well.
Maybe, the math in Yogi's statement doesn't add up, but I think people got the point.
In the end Georges has always prided himself as a thinking fighter and one of the things that Georges worries the most about for his next fight with Hardy is that Dan is a thinking fighter as well.
I had a chance to ask Georges about the fact that Hardy seems calculated with his striking and how that affects Georges and his preparation.
"Thats what makes him [Dan Hardy] even more dangerous. Hardy is a thinking fighter, somebody that thinks a lot, not only going there to brawl, he is a technical guy and those guys are the most dangerous. The thing is he never fought a thinking fighter as much as me, I truly believe I am the best thinking fighter he ever fought. I can switch from plan A to plan B [and from] plan B to plan C which is a tool that nobody that fought him before had."
Obviously Georges feels he knows how to game plan and he sounds ready for Anything Dan Hardy is going to throw at him at UFC 111.
One must not forget that this is mixed martial arts and any fighter is really only one punch or one mistake away from winning or losing. So even though Dan Hardy is the heavy under dog people have to remember the first encounter between Matt Serra and Georges St. Pierre and how Serra shocked the world, Georges most definitely has not forgotten.