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Video: Greg Jackson and GSP Are Gunning for Thiago Alves’s ‘Safety Zone’

(Props: MMA Mania)

"It’s finding what’s called a ‘safety zone’, and that’s a place that when he’s in trouble he goes to. It could be a clinch, it could be a takedown, it could be kickboxing, wherever he feels comfortable and safe. And then you have three ways of getting around it, you can either avoid it, nullify it, or smash it…hopefully we’ll be able to exploit [Thiago Alves's safety zone] and move around it."

In this FOX Fight Game interview, Georges St. Pierre‘s trainer Greg Jackson discusses one of the most important elements of his famous game-plans — attacking an opponent not where he’s strongest or weakest, but what he falls back on when things get rough. He wouldn’t name what he thinks Alves’s safety zone is, though he does admit that Alves’s left knee and left hook are weapons to be feared. Also in the interview, Jackson describes game-planning as a structure that "the artist" has to be able to work within, and talks about the crucial balance between cooperation and competition that exists at his gym. GSP and Pitbull are scheduled to get it on in 11 days at UFC 100.

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Dubbayoo- June 30, 2009 at 2:06 pm
I smell false modesty from Mr. Jackson.
LockDown- June 30, 2009 at 9:40 am
@xFenixKnightx: Though Alves is pretty much Americanized now

J-Dog- June 30, 2009 at 9:32 am
Machida's "safe zone" is probably his outside striking..... so attack him when he's doing that.... yeah that strategy worked great for Rashad. LOL
ArmFarmer- June 30, 2009 at 9:00 am

Please list the best strikers that GSP has outstruck.

I'm tired of hearing people claim gsp beats everyone at their strengths. He's outwrestled and bunch of wrestlers and that's it. The best argument you can come up with is him outstriking bj.. who really isn't a striker he's a bjj guy.. fighting out of his weightclass to begin with.

Don't get me wrong gsp is top 3 pfp in the world for sure I think he's an amazing fighter, but he does not beat everyone at their own game.

If gsp does not impose his wrestling and takedowns on Alves and engages in a striking match, he is going down.
And fuck the fuckin Diaz brothers Fuck em all- June 30, 2009 at 8:59 am
GSP by TKO/KO in Rd2. He's just that good kinda like MIGHTY PUTTY!!
Fucklord- June 30, 2009 at 8:50 am
Can't wait for GSP to get smashed and Greg Jackson's stock to plummet. I'm tired of the guy getting credit for the success of really good fighters
CJvsCP- June 30, 2009 at 8:50 am
I think if Alves fires off a left hook and catches GSP he will go down. Just like he went down for serra! He is not the best fighter and will fall from a single punch. With that said I still say GSP will win by decision.
UncleSamsMisguidedChild- June 30, 2009 at 8:39 am
This one is too close to call I will not be rooting for either fighter June 30, 2009 at 8:01 am
I think Greg is so interesting to listen to. He appears very intelligent in every interview. My favorite trainer by far...........................

Now there was that rumored hiccup of countering Machida's counters...hmmm
Truth2Pwr- June 30, 2009 at 7:55 am
First of all, you can just forget about GSP losing until he's like 47. He's by far the best fighter on the planet. He outwrestles the best wrestlers, outstrikes the best strikers, and just pwned "The Prodigy" of BJJ on the mat. Sure anybody can get "Serra-ed" once in a blue moon, but now that GSP's head is on straight, the odds of that happening again are slim at best.

As for Greg Jackson's strategies, you can't argue with results. He's helped fighters win belts for sure. But personally, I think there's nothing sadder than to watch a fighter take his own strengths away from himself in a fight (are you listening Sherk?) because he's convinced himself that he has some brilliant strategy that involves forcing the fight into one dimension.

Plan A should always be to impose your will upon your opponent with your strengths and force them to defend your best weapons. If that doesn't work out the way you had hoped, then having a sneaky strategy to negate their strengths can be a very good Plan B, but should always be Plan B. Because your Plan A should always be forcing the other guy to go to his Plan B.

Honestly, I think Greg Jackson understands this extremely well, and his strategic planning is exceptional, but there are a lot of fighters who get too cute and outsmart themselves with ill-advised "strategies" when they should just be aggressive at doing what they do best, let it fly, and may the chips fall where they may..
xFenixKnightx- June 30, 2009 at 7:34 am
I have a feeling UFC is about to have 3 Brazillian champs. Silva, Machida and Alves. Though Alves is pretty much Americanized now. ATT will have 2 champs in Alves and Mike Brown. It would be cool to see Fitch Alves II for the strap.
shitwhistle- June 30, 2009 at 7:27 am
Listen to me when I say, "GSP will win this fight."
When I say that, you listen to me, because I'm right.
You can bet your old Ninja Turtle figures that are still in the package on it.
Fedor vs. Bas- June 30, 2009 at 7:27 am
Also watch out for Alves's kicks. He's going to pick apart GSP's legs and make it difficult for GSP to try to take it to the ground.