Tuesday, April 3, 2007

GSP: Serra is Very Dangerous on the Ground

By Georges St Pierre

It is this Saturday, in Houston, that I will get the chance to defend for the first time my title of super welter-weight of the UFC. For the occasion, I will be opposed to the champion of Ultimate Fighter 4, Matt Serra. This fight was supposed to take place on February 3, but an knee injury has constrained me to delay the confrontation. I can however ensure you that I am presently in full health and that I do not have after-effect of this injury.

Serra is a rather particular adversary. It is a combatant who is not as complete as me, but which is very dangerous on the ground. Submission wise, Matt is in fact the most dangerous adversary that I had to face. It is certain that he will want to bring me on to the ground with ankle lock and with arm lock, etc. They are movements which one often does not see and which are very spectacular. It will thus be necessary that I be careful on the ground because he is superior than me on this level.

Good training partners
My training routine did not change in preparation for this combat: 50 % on the ground, 50 % standing up. However, since Matt is very dangerous on the ground, I practised my exits of catch a lot. About my training partners, they are always the same ones. I train with the Olympic wrestling team, professional boxers and my partners of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. However, for this confrontation, I also had the chance to train with David Loiseau, Patrick Côté and Jonathan Goulet all fighters from the province of Quebec. I also invited a few Americain fighters to train in Montreal.. There were Nate Marquardt, which will fight for the world title of the 185 pounds in July, and Rashad Evans. Evans will face Tito Ortiz, also in July. As with each combat, I am confident but I always doubt my talent. I wonder if I'm strong enough. This reaction is however normal. It is that which keeps me on the alert. It is good to have confidence, but it is also good to maintain doubts. In my case, it is what allows me to performer better. Listening to everyone, I should dominate Serra. However, people seem to forget that only one person succeeded in overcoming him before the limit and it is Shonie Carter. With only 9 seconds remaining to the fight. Even B.J. Penn did not succeed in beating him before the limit. I thus expect a long fight.

Is Sanchez the next one?
In one of the semi-finals of the card this Saturday, Diego Sanchez (19-0) will be opposed to Josh Koschechk (10-1). Nothing is signed, but there are strong chances that the winner of my fight faces the winner of this confrontation in a close future. It's what I've heard. However, we should not forget Matt Hughes which remains a contender for the title. If I am victorious on Saturday, there's talk about the possibility that I defend my title in Montreal. Me and my manager are putting lots of pressure on the UFC for this to happen. At the end of my victorious fight, listen to my speech when I take the microphone in the center of the ring.

UFC Bought Pride
Last week, UFC put the hand on Pride. That has good and bad sides. For the combatants, it is certain that the negotiations will be more difficult because one will not be able to fold back on the other company to compaired fighters. On another side, that will make it possible to unify the payments. At Pride, the engagements were presented in a boxing ring and they were 10 minutes confrontations. If there were a tide, there were a five minutes of prolongation. The weight categories were also different. Now, all the engagements will take place in the octagone and will be 15 minutes long (3 rounds of 5 minutes ). The competition will be raised also. One will be able to attend championship mégacombats. In my category, the majority of the best combatants are with the UFC. However, at the middle, cruiser-weight and the heavy weights, there is though competition. I believe that at the end of the line, the amateurs of this sport will come out winners. Let's talk next week to analyse my fight against Serra.


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