The face of the UFC is set to compete in his seventh straight title match Saturday December 11th at UFC 124. In his own backyard of Montreal Quebec, UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre is ready to dominate his division yet again.
At least that is his take on what both fight fans and his opponent Josh Koscheck are in for during the main event this coming weekend. GSP’s confidence is extremely high, which was apparent during this weeks UFC 124 media conference call.
Hurtsbad.com was anxiously listening in as the man known as “Rush” and the number one contender to his throne, “Kos”, shared their perception on their preparation and predictions regarding a rematch of their first meeting three years ago.
Many prestigious MMA journalists were on the call and some interesting points were brought up. Hurtsbad.com is happy to share some of the more telling aspects of a great discussion between the UFC WW champ, his opponent and the media.
One of the first things brought up was if it would be a challenge for St. Pierre to avoid letting Koscheck's relentless antics effect him come fight night.
St. Pierre had this to say, “What Josh said about me motivated me for the training leading up to the fight, but now the training is done. Whatever he has said, whatever he has done, everything will go out the window Saturday night.”
Both fighters were asked how the show motivated them for the fight. Koscheck stated he needs no motivation to want to “kick St. Pierre’s ass”. The champ on the other hand did find inspiration during the filming of The Ultimate Fighter.
“The fact that Josh was very arrogant with me will not effect my fight. It effects my preparation coming into the fight. I have prepared myself like I never prepared myself before. I am the best Georges St. Pierre I have ever been. I'm sharper everywhere, I have been working on a lot of different things for this fight and I can’t wait to show it to the public.”
St. Pierre was asked about how important strategy was going into this fight. Always one to implement truly masterful game plans, GSP offered the answer of a great champion.
“It’s very important. I have been working on a lot of different things. The main thing I’ve been doing is working on a lot of punching power with Freddie Roach. With the mechanics, a lot of stuff I was doing was wrong that he corrected.”
St. Pierre went into detail of how his transition towards becoming more of a finisher has become paramount in his training.
“In the first fight with Josh, when I was striking with him I was boxing to set up my takedowns. This time when I strike with him it will be also to knock him out. Roger Gracie came in and helped me a lot. Roger Gracie is a specialist at finishing his opponents when he takes a guys back. I have been working a lot on that.”
The champ also added, “If I get an opportunity for the finish I will be able to finish him a lot better this time. Because I have been putting a lot of energy on the punching power and the finish.”
For a talent like St. Pierre to be working with a boxing legend like Freddie Roach is really quite a big deal and he was asked about how it has been to turn his hands over to a world class boxing trainer like Roach.
“It’s great, I have the best guys from both worlds, the striking and the ground. I think Freddie helped me a lot because for a few months I have been working with him and he has changed a lot of stuff in my mechanics. Before I knew him I thought I knew boxing, but I found out that I didn't. He corrected a lot of stuff for me and I feel a lot more confident.”
Roach is always one to make bold predictions for his fighters before they compete. He is quoted as saying GSP will secure a second round knockout come fight night. The champ is known as a more humble competitor and was asked if he minds that type of prediction at his expense.
“I don't mind, I’ve been sparring a lot with his professional boxers, some of his guys are world champions. I'm very ready for this fight, I’ve had the best training camp of my life ever for this fight. I can’t wait.”
It is worth noting that Koscheck took issue with this comment and added that Roach can’t teach GSP how to strengthen his chin, which is where he intends to hit him and also boasted that his mom predicts a second round knockout as well.
It was noted that St. Pierre wanted to finish Dan Hardy in his previous title defense yet was unable to do so regardless of more than one opportunity. He was ask if he feels added pressure to finish Koscheck to appease his fans.
“The main thing I’ve been working on for this fight is pushing my finishes. To increase my knockout power and my finishes, that has been my main focus. I try to be an exciting fighter for the fans.”
In closing the champ was asked if he sees any holes in Koscheck’s game where he can take advantage since their first fight. He voiced an opinion he has been very vocal about regarding using his strengths based on his opponents style. He was also sure to state he sees “Kos” as a new fighter today compared to three years ago.
“He’s a completely different fighter than he was back then. He’s a very strong wrestler with a good wrestling base. There is three things that I'm good at. Fighting guys that trash talk, I'm a specialist at fighting guys that come from a strong wrestling base, and especially the rematch.”
He went on to close with this statement.
“I’m very good at adapting myself to any kind of fighting style, that's my specialty. Josh has those three components. He trash talks a lot, he has a very strong wrestling background with good stand up but mainly a wrestling base, and it’s a rematch. It’s the best match up for me, and I can’t wait, I’m very excited.”
Well Georges you are not the only one who is very excited for this weekends main event. It is quite a compelling match up between two extremely talented and capable welterweights.
For the champ, in particular, it is yet one more opportunity to solidify that which he has already attained, perennial greatness. Already considered a top of the food chain pound for pound fighter, GSP has merely scratched the surface of his potential.
To hear him tell it, we have yet to see the best GSP we have ever known which is quite astonishing considering his accomplishments thus far. In the sport of MMA twenty or fifty years down the road this man will be revered like a Ruth, a Gretzky, an Earnhardt, or a Pele.
You and I fight fans should count ourselves fortunate that his greatness will be forged in our lifetime, before our eyes, this Saturday night. Take advantage and do yourself a favor, drink it in.
This article originally featured at Hurtsbad.com.
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