After exchanging verbal banters for the better part of the year, Georges St-Pierre will finally defend his UFC Welterweight title against Josh Koscheck at UFC 124 this Sunday, December 12.
Koscheck, of course, has been on the losing end of a St-Pierre fight before with a three-round unanimous decision loss at UFC 74 back in 2007. The second bout brings a title to the mix, making this revenge fight that much sweeter.
Serving as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter 12, Koscheck made it no secret that he doesn’t mind being the villain in this rivalry, even going as far as mocking GSP’s hometown of Quebec, which ironically, is where the fight will take place.
But having defended his belt four times now, the legend of GSP is fast becoming god-like, the very reason why the prospect of Josh Koscheck as new champion doesn't sink in with MMA fans.
Not to blame them however, because after all, how do you beat a man as technical as GSP? The answer is we don't know either, but perhaps performances from his recent title fights should be enough of an indication:
Against Dan Hardy – UFC 111
The Hardy Quote: “I'm getting asked: 'How do you expect to beat GSP?' I am getting those questions all the time, like GSP is some kind of god and shouldn't even have to defend his title. I've never turned down a fight and I am not about to now.
The Hardy Strategy: "It depends how eager he is to get the fight started. If it starts fast, he'll get knocked out fast. If he takes his time, he might get knocked out in a later round. It depends on him, really, and what kind of pace he wants to push.”
The Outcome: St-Pierre dominated Hardy in all five rounds, at one point catching him with an armbar maneuver, though Hardy managed to get out of the hold. GSP showed plenty of grinds on the ground and not enough strikes, earning him another convincing but non-exciting victory.
Lesson Learned: GSP has been known to use multiple strikes before executing an immediate takedown. Eluding strikes takes a lot of footwork resulting to shortage of balance, a detail St-Pierre has capitalized on time and again.
Against Thiago Alves – UFC 100
The Alves Quote: “I’ve been training with the best wrestlers here in the country and being trained by the best strikers not in the country, but in the world. I’ve got the best jiu-jitsu guys with me. So I’m prepared. I’m prepared for everything that he’s got.”
The Alves Strategy: "St-Pierre is dangerous everywhere. You know you’ve got to be careful with him everywhere and not just with the takedowns. Takedowns are just another weapon that he has. He’s a dangerous striker, and he’s got great jiu-jitsu, so I’m prepared for everything.”
The Outcome: St-Pierre’s ground control was pretty much the story of the fight, despite pulling a groin muscle in the fourth round. Alves managed to exchange punches on the first round but succumbed to St-Pierre’s wrestling skills later on, resulting to a unanimous decision victory.
Lesson Learned: GSP strikes best when doing the ground and pound from an open guard. He has done so at the expense of Thiago Alves and Matt Serra, leaving minimal opening to even try to do anything other than to cover up and hope it ends soon.
Next: BJ Penn and Jon Fitch
WORDS BY MIKEY AGULTO
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