Georges St. Pierre’s Jiu-Jitsu Coach Talks About GSP’s Physical Condition Before Camp
MMAjunkie spoke with John Danaher, the jiu-jitsu coach for UFC champion Georges St. Pierre, before GSP’s fight with Carlos Condit at UFC 154 on Saturday.
How GSP’s coaches are thinking of shifting GSP’s fight camps toward: “I think we’re starting to go toward the idea of peaking Georges later in the fight camp so that we don’t bring him to a peak, and hold him for extended periods of time, where there’s a danger of burnout.”
How GSP adjusted from having less athleticism than a 60-year-old man before camp: “You’re talking about an elite combat athlete that hasn’t done any combat sport for one year. Nothing other than physical rehabilitation, which, of course, doesn’t count as combat training. So he started fight camp at the lowest point he’s ever really been at in his career.”
What he thinks helped turn GSP around in camp: “One of the biggest misconceptions of Georges in MMA circles is they attribute most of his success to his physical attributes. They see athleticism or athletic ability as the basis of his success. In fact, that is not the case. Georges is a good athlete. He’s certainly above average. But if you put him in a comprehensive physical testing amongst other elite athletes in football, hockey or basketball, he would be average at best. He’s not some crazy uber-athlete that people think (he is). He’s fast, but not extraordinarily fast. He’s strong, but not extraordinarily strong. He’s flexible in some ways, and shockingly inflexible in others. He’s a good athlete, but he’s not stunningly good. The basis of his success is technical prowess gained over time with a combination of determination and hard work.”
How he thinks Condit will perform and how the fight will go: “He [Condit] knows Georges is a rhythm-based fighter, and he fights with a broken rhythm. He’ll be stronger if the fight is a messy, scrappy, hard-nosed fight, which tests the physical resilience and conditioning of both athletes. He’s a guy who’s never been out-conditioned in a fight. He’s coming up against an athlete that hasn’t been in a fight for over a year. So I believe his thing will be to create chaos, create exhaustion, and then his intent will be to either knock or submit an exhausted Georges St-Pierre.”
Danaher on how tough the sport is in that GSP is facing such a tough opponent coming off a long layoff: “In most sports, they draw someone back from an injury. In this sport, it’s straight to the dogs. Of course, I would love to have two tune-up fights. But in this sport, it’s not happening. Unfortunately, the fight camp sparring is the only tune-up he’s going to get.”