Georges St-Pierre is back in the UFC, and he’s eying a new weight class’ throne when he returns to the Octagon.
The ex-UFC welterweight king is slated to make his Octagon return against UFC middleweight champ Michael Bisping in the main event of the UFC 217 pay-per-view (PPV) from Madison Square Garden in New York City. St-Pierre has worked with legendary boxing coach Freddie Roach for many years now, who will be in his corner when he takes on “The Count” for the 185-pound title.
Roach was recently interviewed by Fight Hub TV to discuss the upcoming match-up, and noted that St-Pierre’s jump up in weight has improved his striking power (quotes via Bloody Elbow):
“He’s getting better and better. He’s a little bigger, a little stronger than he has been in the past because this fight is going to be in a higher weight class. He has a little more weight on him, and he punches with a lot more power,” Roach said.
He then noted that St-Pierre asked him to be in his corner for fight night in Madison Square Garden, an invitation Roach happily accepted. Roach is looking forward to cornering his very first UFC fight:
“He did really really well. I’m going to be heading up to Montreal pretty soon. For six weeks, I’ll spend 3 days a week in Montreal, and 4 days here,” he said. “He wants me in the corner. He wants me in the ring, in between rounds, and I said no problem.”
“He’s in with a big tough guy, and it should be action packed. I’m excited with my first UFC fight.”
While Roach believes “Rush” holds a big athletic advantage over Bisping heading into their fight, the first round of the contest still worries the longtime boxing legend, who calls St-Pierre ‘stiff’ during the the first five minutes of a fight:
“(Bisping) is a tough guy. He comes to fight. I don’t think he’s the best athlete in the world. I think Georges is a much better athlete, and I think that will be the difference in the fight. His athleticism will take him through the fight.
“But it’s not going to be easy though, that’s for sure. The first round, I’m a little worried, because Georges is always a little bit stiff in the first round. Then he gets into the fight as the rounds go on. So early, I’m a little bit worried but I’ll warm him up really good in the dressing room.”