You read it right, former National Hockey League tough guy Georges Laraque is making a transition to mixed martial arts after getting his walking papers from the Montreal Canadiens management earlier this season. Laraque will be making his debut against none other than fellow Montrealer and current UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre.
Okay maybe Laraque isn’t making the transition to mixed martial arts just yet, but he will compete against Georges St. Pierre in an exhibition grappling match at the Tri-Star gym where St. Pierre trains. The match can be seen on the sports talk show Off the Record with Michael Landsberg this Friday at 6pm eastern time on TSN.
In terms of grappling, Georges St. Pierre has the upper hand no doubt and will probably make Georges Laraque look silly. Obviously, the match was put together for publicity reasons, but it will probably be fun for the fans to watch.
Georges St. Pierre is walking around at five feet ten inches and 190 lbs and has a wealth of martial arts knowledge in Karate, Wrestling and Brazilian Jui Jitsu. Georges Laraque at six feet three inches tall and weighing in at 260 – 270 pounds definitely has a size and strength advantage over St. Pierre.
Although Laraque doesn’t have the martial arts background that St. Pierre has he has been in his fair share of scraps as a former enforcer for teams like the Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins, Phoenix Coyotes and Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey league.
As a hockey player more known for his fighting then his ability to put pucks in the net Georges Laraque is regarded as one of the better fighters in the league. Laraque has an ability to stay standing on his skates no matter what and he has the ability to put his opponents on their backs. Whether Georges Laraque's experience as a goon in the NHL will translate over to MMA is yet to be seen, fighting on ice isn’t the same as fighting on solid ground.
When asked about his upcoming exhibition with Georges Laraque Georges St. Pierre had the following to say, "On the ice I would never go against him, he's going to beat me and I agree with that 100 percent, but on the floor I have no problem.”
Georges Laraque feels like his size and strength will give him the upper hand against the welterweight champ, “I think because of the weight difference he's going to have a hard time, I want to pick him up and body slam him," said Laraque.
Both guys think they can beat each other and the fact that it is hockey player vs mixed martial artist makes it fun for everyone. Who knows, maybe Big Georges Laraque is planning a move into the mixed martial arts scene.
It wouldn’t be the first time we see athletes from other disciplines move into MMA. In season 10 of The Ultimate fighter former NFL players Marcus Jones, Brandon Schaub and Matt Mitrione all competed for a UFC contract. Marcus Jones is the only one of the three former football players that isn’t fighting anymore.
Brendan Schaub is a heavyweight fighter that many people feel has a bright future and Matt Mitrione knocked out both Marcus Jones and Kimbo Slice in his first two fights under the UFC banner.
The exhibition match is just a fun publicity stunt for both Georges St. Pierre and Georges Laraque and it will be fun for the fans of both the NHL and mixed martial arts. If you get TSN be sure to tune in at 6pm eastern time it should be entertaining.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Georges Laraque’s career in the NHL.