He wouldn’t be the first one to be a champion in more than one division. But three? That would put Georges St. Pierre, the UFC’s interim welterweight champ, into a completely different sphere. And he wants to do so after completely dominating the welterweight division, according to an article over at Sherdog. GSP has been around the sport since 2002 and has been more than impressive against the dudes he’s beaten.
The piece references GSP’s win over Pete Spratt in 2003 as the beginning of the welterweight’s climb. This got him into the UFC, where – after two wins – he lost his first fight, a submission to Matt Hughes. We’ve since heard Georges explain – several times – that he had already lost in his mind before the fight even started. Maybe he should have listened to his opponent’s advice. Regardless, St. Pierre won their second (and third) meeting, only to immediately lose the belt to Matt Serra – who he will meet again in April.
GSP is in the Centennial State right now working with Nathan Marquardt to help the fighter train for his fight with Jeremy Horn at UFC 81. After kicking the shit out of Matt Hughes, St. Pierre remains a little too humble:
“Hughes is an amazing fighter,” he said. “I just had a good night that night, and he had a bad night.”
“If we fight again, I don’t think he’s going to beat me, but he will probably come closer. Maybe he had a bad day — it’s a matter of circumstances as well.”
Oh please. Just admit you kicked his ass and would do it again and again.
GSP also couldn’t officially confirm he and Matt Serra will be fighting in April, because nothing has been signed. His manager, Shari Spenser, did all but confirm the match, though. And St. Pierre is jacked up for it:
“Fighting in front of my people would be a dream for me,” St. Pierre exclaimed. “The most fans I’ve ever fought in front of in Montreal was 5,000, maybe 6,000 at UCC/TKO. My people are very hot blooded, and they’re going to give the UFC a show like they’ve never seen before.”
Spenser revealed that she and St. Pierre have a long-term strategy that will give the fighter options when he reaches the end of his career.
“Right around the time we started working together, Bjorn Borg was putting his Wimbledon trophies up for sale on eBay,” Spenser said. “And that’s not where we want to be. We don’t want to see the UFC belts for sale.”
Spenser’s discussions with St. Pierre — she’s handling everything outside the Octagon, and he’s handling everything inside it — have led to steps that will allow him to reach his goals for 10 to 15 years from now.
Good to see he’s learning from Ricco’s wonderful life. Beating Serra is a must, according to GSP. He made similar comments before his rubber match with Hughes, so you gotta’ think the guy isn’t bullshitting us.
“I am going to come with a specific strategy, and it’s going to be a different story,” he said emphatically. “They’re going to see my eyes when I step into the Octagon. I’m going to have a different look. I’m going to look like a totally different guy, and people will understand when they see that fight.”
“I used to think that people who needed to see a psychologist were crazy or weak,” he said. “But at a certain level you need it. Visualization and positive imagery are very important. People underestimate the power of the mental aspect; it helped me a lot.”
Okay, we don’t want to hear about positive stuff or flower-power imagery. We want to hear how he visualizes Matt Serra or Matt Hughes’ head on a stick. Now here’s where things really get interesting. His manager – whether just revving the PR engines or letting a well-guarded cat out of the bag – makes some bold statements about GSP’s plans.
“He wants to leave a legacy,” Spenser said. “He wants to be the most dominant fighter the UFC and MMA has ever seen, and he intends to accomplish that by dominating the 170-pound weight class, moving up to the 185 weight class and then eventually the light heavyweight class.”
“If he does that,” she said, “I don’t think there’s a doubt that he will be the best fighter to ever have graced the sport.”
There is not an exact timetable for the move up in weight, and Spenser indicates he’ll continue in the welterweight division first. There is no doubt that if he keeps improving at the rate he has been, that GSP will be a force and possible champion when he moves up. Moving up to light heavyweight, however, is going to pose quite a different challenge. He’s got enough height on him and room to add the weight, but with too much muscle or added weight we could see his agility be minimized, something that has been key to his rise in MMA.
But seeing how the French-accented fighter has learned from his fuck-ups and made himself better because of it, I wouldn’t exactly bet against him becoming the first in the UFC to be champion in three weight classes.