Interview starts @ 8:30, but why hurry past Arianny’s cleavage?
With Anderson’s Seagal-inspired KO of Vitor Belfort last week, we are officially halfway toward the long awaited GSP-Silva super fight. Only Jake Shields stands in the way of this epic battle, and since we don’t even want to think about him fucking this up for us, let’s get ahead of ourselves and listen in on renowned boxing trainer Freddie Roach as he chats with Joe Rogan about GSP’s progression in boxing and his take on the potential match-up between GSP and Silva.
The trainer of famed pugilists such as Manny Pacquiao and Oscar de la Hoya has welcomed several notable MMA fighters to train with him in recent years. His latest project is UFC Welterweight kingpin Georges St. Pierre, and in the video above it’s clear that he played a significant role in the improved hands Georges displayed while taking out Koscheck last December.
“[We] studied tapes. Georges gave me like 4 tapes of Koscheck. His big thing is his big right hand. What beats the right hand? What breaks a right hand up? Double Jab. It’s simple.”
While you can’t deny the results of Roach’s game plan for Koscheck, Anderson’s stand up is vastly superior and will be far more difficult to dissect. But what makes Roach’s analysis so invaluable in this matchup isn’t what he’ll learn by watching tapes of Anderson, it’s what he saw while holding mitts for him. Starting in late 2008, Silva made numerous visits to Roach’s gym to tighten up his hands. Despite those sessions, there’s no question as to where Roach’s loyalty lies:
“Anderson is a better boxer at this point. Georges is getting better. I’m a lot closer to Georges than I am with Anderson at this point. There’s some things that I’ve learned about Anderson that I think I can help Georges with, because I’ve worked with him closely and Anderson is a clever fighter and he’s smart.”
Roach likens this fight to the Pacquiao-Mayweather bout of the MMA-world, which we can only hope means an inter-weight class battle between two all time greats and not a dream bout that’s unlikely to ever take place. He breaks down a subtle element of the fight game which adds an interesting dimension to the tired discussion of Anderson’s striking vs. GSP’s wrestling: distance.
“Georges is stronger physically I think and can rough him up on the inside. Anderson is more of a technician, knows distance. Distance is the key to that fight.”
Distance has been a key to both fighters’ success. Anderson’s long limbs, arsenal of kicks, and stellar head movement allow him to strike safely from the outside or stand right in the pocket. On the other side of the equation, Georges credits his background in karate and its lessons in distance for the effectiveness of his takedowns, the fear of which gives him more openings on the feet. Roach knows boxing as well as anyone, and he seems to think he can help Georges exploit a weakness in Anderson’s standup. Now we’ve just got to pray to the MMA gods that we get to see if he’s right.
- Chris Colemon