With all the recent videos and interviews popping up of MMA fighters talking trash to past and future opponents, seeing a video of UFC Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre sing the praises of Josh Koscheck is quite refreshing.
St. Pierre has never been one to engage in the testosterone-driven world of trash talk. With the exception of normal pre-fight hype, he doesn't play the normal game of taking unnecessary jabs at his opponent.
Recently, St. Pierre did an interview with MMA30.com where he discussed Koscheck and their upcoming fight, most likely to take place in December. He praised the number one contender's growth as a fighter, and he considers him a real threat to the title.
"He's a real threat, he's not the same fighter that I fought the first time," St. Pierre said. "We're both better than we were last time, and it's going to be interesting."
Obviously any fighter that has earned the spot as the top contender is a legitimate threat, but is St. Pierre being too kind with his words towards Koscheck?
It is true Koscheck has elevated his game since the two first fought in August 2007, at UFC 74, but has he improved enough to become a world champion?
As much as the stand-up and ground games have improved for Koscheck, St. Pierre is simply on a higher level in all facets inside the Octagon. St. Pierre already out-wrestled Koscheck in their first meeting, a feat some thought couldn't be done.
St. Pierre has turned himself into arguably the smartest fighter in the sport today. Only Randy Couture is in the same category as the Canadian when it comes to formulating a game plan to win a fight. He'll do the same thing when it comes to a rematch with Koscheck.
St. Pierre and his coaches will study Koscheck's last several fighters and decide where he's most dangerous. If it's on the ground, St. Pierre will make sure the fight stays standing. Conversely, if the fear with Koscheck is in the stand-up game, the champion will implement the same strategy he did in their first fight, and he'll put Kos on his back for five rounds.
On numerous occasions, St. Pierre has spoken how his title loss to Matt Serra still haunts him, and he'll do everything possible not to take a fighter lightly again. For all the improvements Josh Koscheck has made in the past couple years, it still won't be enough to become champion.
GSP's humility is one of the reasons he's become such a beloved figure in the sport, but he must realize that Koscheck doesn't pose a serious threat. He chooses, however, to take the higher road and show his opponent a level of respect that many fans and critics won't do.