UFC 167 Georges St. Pierre Interview: A Clash Of Confidence

UFC 167 Georges St. Pierre Interview: A Clash Of Confidence


UFC 167 is fast approaching and now, with less than two weeks to go, the UFC’s media and hype blitz for the event is in full swing.

In lead up to the November 16th card in Las Vegas, the promotion’s long reigning welterweight Champion, Georges St. Pierre, believes that his title match with number one challenger Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks, is likely to be the toughest of his career and one that “Rush” is taking very seriously.

GSP knows that Hendricks has great wrestling and power, but nonetheless, Rush believes that he’s the best in the world and he’s going to re-prove the case at UFC 167.

In terms of Bigg Riggs skill set, Rush isn’t afraid of it and more to the point, he believes he better than Hendricks “everywhere”. Further, St. Pierre believes he’s the best in the world at “not getting hit” and that he can “take a punch”.  

Regarding the first point, Rush has a point. Rarely in his career has the champ ever been caught and he’s never been dominated in a fight. The only examples that can be found of Rush failing in the Octagon, would be the Matt Hughes and Matt Serra fights, and even then, they were not dominating defeats. Other than those two matches and a few brief moments in them, Rush has owned every fighter he’s ever taken on and defeated the all, convincingly.

As to his ability to take a punch or even better yet, a kick, Rush has proven that he can take one. In his bout with Carlos Condit, the champ was caught cleanly by a Condit (high) kick to the head and it immediately dropped GSP to the mat. However, Rush was able to collect himself while on the ground and successfull muted Condit’s (in the guard) attack, and quickly worked his way back to his feet.

As such, and on these two points, Rush has demonstrated throughout his career that not only is he hard to hit and control, but that he can (also) take a heavy shot in a fight and withstand it.

However, Bigg Rigg is a new test of the champ’s abilities in these areas and he’s one of the few fighters in the division that (many) fans believe could actually beat the champion. Beyond that, Hendricks brings something into the ring against GSP that few have brought before, and that’s confidence; Bigg Rigg is, if nothing else, supremely confident in his abilities. Of course, the corollary to that statement is that Rush is an extremely confident fighter, too. As such, the champ sees this fight as a clash between competing confidences.

However and as GSP states, “There’s a thin line between confidence and arrogance” and as such, the champ will be looking to test that line on the 16th, and in a battle of which fighter is justified in their belief and which is not.

As to the particulars of the exam that Rush will be setting for Johny, it will be one that queries him on his wrestling, chin and Jiu Jitsu, and one that is apt to be conducted in a master class on cardio conditioning.  

In synopsis, this is a fight that fans are going to love and one that comes with all the thrills and dangers of a long running champion possibly losing a title. As there is no question that Bigg Rigg can turn out GSP’s lights and that the champ only wants to fight the best challengers he can, the only true guaranteed winner out of this fight are the fans. Under no conditions can they lose in a match between George St. Pierre and Johny Hendricks. The bout is apt to be an epic struggle for control of the welterweight belt.  

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  • http://lowkickmma.com/author/Entity Entity

    I think all these wins GSP has racked up have finally started sinking in. He stated for ever that he was always scared coming into the ring ro fight. Maybe he's getting past that, and hopefully that will bring him some more finishes as well. I just dont see Hendricks winning this at all. Hendricks might just get shocked like many others in his wake.

    • http://lowkickmma.com/author/BruceLee Bruce Lee

      I think you are right Ent. I also think that GSP has been making an effort to shake off the Safe-Pierre rep. I think Johny is in for a bad day and (I know I'm going to take a lot of **** for this) but I think Johny is going to sleep.

      • http://lowkickmma.com/author/MagicMMA MagicMMA

        I hope that the special thing gsp has been working on is his jiu jitsu, and that he submits Hendricks. We see him dominate fighters on the ground, but rarely go for a submission. I thinks this fight is special and I think that either way, some one is going to get finished. It is also important to note that of Gsp's last three opponents, Hendricks included, when were they last seen finished, if ever? Can't always blame Gsp for not being able to finish these insanely tough guys

        • http://lowkickmma.com/author/BrianCox Brian Cox

          Magic, I can't wait to see what that special thing is either and it could well be a better JJ game.

          However, if you notice, every time Rush talks about it, he always hits his open palm with his fist. If body language tells us anything, it's telling us he's working on his KO power.

          Either way, can't wait.

          • http://lowkickmma.com/author/Kris-tyahn Kris-tyahn

            I've been very curious as to what his "special" training he's been wokring might be. You have both made compeling arguments, his BJJ is great for control & keeping his opponents flat on their back, but with limited submission attempts, though his last 3 opponents Shields, Nick Diaz & Condit all pretty world class in BJJ. I sorta think it's "power", but in regards to his striking (kicks & punches) b/c he's been working with those Muay Thai World Champs more often now & he's been with them a lot longer for this camp. Not to mention his "base" is Karate, Muay Thai fighters have the most powerful kicks on the planet, which IMHO GSP doesn't use enough of.

            He's been working like crazy on his boxing with the Canadian national coach & Freddy Roach, then add Wrold Champ Muay Thai…. I'd love to see some sick front kicks to the face, just when Hendricks about to throw that left hand…. head first, or a GSP flying knee to the beard!

            Hendricks has 1.5-2 rounds MAX to get that "lucky" punch on GSP. Or Hendricks is going to gas in the 3rd, 4th or 5th rounds & that's when I think GSP will finish his first victim in a while.

      • http://lowkickmma.com/author/BrianCox Brian Cox

        Michael, I don't know why you'd have to take any heat for believing what you believe. Picking up my bias and speaking as a fan, I hope and believe you'll be proven right.

        As Entity said, maybe a switch has been thrown with GSP. As a fan, I've never complained and have loved all of his fights, save the Shields one. Once damaged, he should have taken Jake down and challenged him on the ground. I mean lets be honest here, Mayhem Miller nearly submitted the Shields and would have, had the bell not save Jake; November 2009. In a nutshell, if Miller could nearly do it, I have a hard time believing that GSP couldn't have handled Jake on the ground.

        It would be pretty funny, if Rush beat Hendricks at his own game and came out at the bell's ringing, came straight out towards Johny and KO'd Bigg Rigg.

        Truth of the matter is, I think Rush is going to show Johny who truly is the best MMA wrestler in the world. I think he's going to take him down and I hope, as MagicMMA states in the comment below, demonstrate some elevated Jiu Jitsu skills and sub Hendricks.

        I know one thing for sure, there is but one road to victory for BR and that's a KO. He will be lost on the ground with Rush and will have nothing except control, and that's if he can maintain it; which he won't.

        Can't wait. It should be a great fight.

        • http://lowkickmma.com/author/falcon4917 falcon4917

          To be fair Millers ground game is up there with the best in my opinion.

        • http://lowkickmma.com/author/azzkika azzkika

          Seeing the job Shields done on Maia you cannot question GSP's nouse in the octagon. Maia had tore shreds off some very good fighters and looked unstoppable at WW and Shields not only matched him but pulled some moves you're highly unlikely to witness from many other fighters ever. yes Miller did surprise a few but that was an exception to the rule. Shields is an absolute beast once you start rolling with him and GSP as the consumate professional he is stuck to the gameplan.

          For all his skills in MMA, perhaps the most underestimated is the gameplan, of which GSP has proven he has no superior. Anyone who has been in a fight knows the adrenalin takes over and composure and intellect swiftly depart. To operate as GSP does is testament to self control which if you buy into the spirit of MMA or any martial art for that matter, self control is one of the most important things you learn.

        • http://lowkickmma.com/author/Kris-tyahn Kris-tyahn

          Brian: The only thing I do not agree with you on is… GSP shouldn't have went to the ground with Shields when he could only see out of one eye, b/c of how things appear when ur only using one eye. With two eyes, you can easily see things as they are, but when you only have one good eye, it's much more difficult to "guess" distance, not to mention GSP wouldnt be able to see Jakes right hands or right leg if he was in his guard. But I do agree, that GSP would have more than held his own vs. Shields on the ground with "two good eye" lol!

    • http://lowkickmma.com/author/falcon4917 falcon4917

      I am not a big fan of GSP but I only see lucky KO getting Johnny this win. I honestly believe Jake shields took the best shot at GSP away in Maia. Then again we have yet to see what Lombard has to offer on his way up.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/author/enjoylife321 enjoylife321

    GSP is the best prepared athlete out there. He is flying in Muay Thai trainers from Thailand, he is training with Olympian wrestlers and gymnasts, he is training with Freddie roach and he has a team of personal assistants, dieticians, physio, sports scientists.

    Despite all this, a fight is a fight and Hendricks has 25 minutes to find a home for his power shot. GSP will have drilled Hendricks shots 1 million times and should win on paper but anything could happen.

    I'm picking GSP via TKO in 4th round. Gsp will have the advantage in the championship rounds and will stop Hendricks the same way he did BJ Penn.

    • http://lowkickmma.com/author/BruceLee Bruce Lee

      well said

    • http://lowkickmma.com/author/BrianCox Brian Cox


    • http://lowkickmma.com/author/falcon4917 falcon4917

      Agreed. GSP is by far the best prepared MMA fighter and has the best guys in the world all the time training him. All of that is a force other fighters dream of being able to receive.

    • http://lowkickmma.com/author/Kris-tyahn Kris-tyahn

      Actually ENJOYLIFE321, I beleive Hendricks will have no more than 2 rounds to find a home for his power shot. If he was that tired vs. Condit after 15 mins, imagine what GSP is going to do to him after just 10 mins. GSP is non stop, pressure, pressure, pressure which doesn't bode well for a guy who's cardio has looked suspect in fights that have went the distance/3 rounds, especially since he had to cut from about 215-220lbs. Thats 45-50lbs to cut to make WW/170lbs, time is not his friend in this fight. If GSP can press Hendricks against the fence in the 1st round, like he did vs. BJ, Hendricks "power bombs" will be much slower, but who knows. I'll be VERY happy to see round 4, b/c Hendricks weight cut will definitely be a factor, while GSP should be "fresh" & we could finally see GSP finish by TKO or submission b/c Hendricks will be that tired.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/author/nimbleweed nimbleweed

    Firstly let me say that 100% I believe GSP is the better fighter in every technical area and should win all 5 rounds… Saying that as a 'huge' GSP fan I think it's going to be a long and nervous fight to watch.

    Every round starts on the feet and Big Rig has the wrestling base to get back to his feet during the fight… GSP can absolutely take a shot but the power in Hedricks hands is doesn't leave you dazed and confused it sings you a lullaby.

    I hope GSP's 'secret weapon' isn't KO power cos he's have to stay on his feet to deliver it… I'd love to see a power takedown and slick BJJ finish in round 1 or 2!

    Love Big Rig and revelled in his KO of Kampman after the lack of repect he was shown in the fight build up but I had my fill of surprises with Silva and Weidman and would like to see at least one legacy escape 2013 intact!

  • http://lowkickmma.com/author/N.C. N.C.

    I think it'll be Kos vs GSP again. It's not the first high pedigree wrestler with a big hook he's fought and handled easy.

    I think the condit fight really helped GSP's confidence. After that kick, the look on his face was priceless. "OMG!!! I'm ok!!" and his confidence showed in the remaining fight. He was willing to exchange again. SOmething we haven't seen since the TKO from serra.

    • http://lowkickmma.com/author/Entity Entity

      After a few rounds with GSP, you can see the look of "what else can I do" on the opponents faces. Condit was one of the few who kept mixing it up the entire time and had some success.