In a world full of high-caliber mixed martial artists, most will
concede that Georges St.
Pierre (Pictures) is at or near the top of the list
when it comes to talent and ability.
Since his introduction to the world of professional MMA in 2002,
the 26 year old from St. Isidore, Quebec, has run roughshod over a
litany of fighters considered the cream of the crop. Not only has
he beaten them, he's also made it look relatively easy.
The first sign that alerted the international community that "Rush"
was someone special was when he defeated Pete Spratt (Pictures) in 2003. St. Pierre was already
popular around Montreal then, but Spratt was fresh off a win over
(Pictures) at UFC 42 and was
considered a heavy favorite.
The Spratt win garnered St. Pierre a coveted UFC invitation, and he
made the best of it, winning exciting fights over Karo Parisyan (Pictures) and Jay Hieron (Pictures). His next bout was his first shot
at the welterweight title. With less than one second remaining in
the first round, though, he lost via armbar to champion Matt Hughes (Pictures).
Obviously disappointed at the time, St. Pierre admitted afterward
that he had lost before he ever stepped into the Octagon. He had
regarded Hughes as his idol, not as someone he could beat.
Five more victories followed for St. Pierre before he got another
shot at Hughes, and this time the outcome was different. St.
Pierre's destruction of a fighter who had ruled the welterweight
division for three years was so overwhelming that it shocked
everyone, especially Hughes.
It was as if St. Pierre had ascended to a place previously unseen
in the sport. But what happened next was just as shocking: In his
first title defense, St. Pierre lost. Not only that, but he was
beaten by an opponent everyone agreed had little chance.
Matt Serra (Pictures) came out of "The Ultimate
Fighter" reality show with a shot at the title, and to his credit,
he defied experts and fans alike by demolishing St. Pierre with his
St. Pierre has always tried to find a positive way to view anything
that happens to him. This time was no different, and after a period
of disappointment, he realized that the loss was actually a good
thing. A valuable lesson was learned: Take no opponent lightly.
Next for St. Pierre were dominant performances in a meeting with
Koscheck (Pictures) and a rubber match with
That's where things stand now. So what's next?
Although not officially announced by the UFC, one of the
promotion's worst kept secrets is that St. Pierre will be fighting
Serra at Montreal's Bell Centre on April 19.
Speaking to Sherdog.com from Colorado, where he was helping
(Pictures) prepare for his upcoming
match against Jeremy Horn
(Pictures) at UFC 81, St. Pierre
discussed his upcoming rematch with Serra, his long-term goals and
his recent win over Hughes.
Even after his two seemingly effortless victories over Hughes, St.
Pierre remains magnanimous.
"Hughes is an amazing fighter," he said. "I just had a good night
that night, and he had a bad night."
And if somewhere down the line they have a fourth bout? "If we
fight again, I don't think he's going to beat me, but he will
probably come closer," St. Pierre said. "Maybe he had a bad day --
it's a matter of circumstances as well."
St. Pierre couldn't confirm that the rematch with Serra would
indeed be happening on that date in Montreal, but his manager Shari
Spenser believes so.
"That is my understanding of the plan," she told Sherdog.com, "but
we have not signed anything yet so I can't confirm it -- but we'd
"Fighting in front of my people would be a dream for me," St.
Pierre exclaimed. "The most fans I've ever fought in front of in
Montreal was 5,000, maybe 6,000 at UCC/TKO. My people are very hot
blooded, and they're going to give the UFC a show like they've
never seen before."
Spenser revealed that she and St. Pierre have a long-term strategy
that will give the fighter options when he reaches the end of his
"Right around the time we started working together, Bjorn Borg was
putting his Wimbledon trophies up for sale on eBay," Spenser said.
"And that's not where we want to be. We don't want to see the UFC
belts for sale."
Spenser's discussions with St. Pierre -- she's handling everything
outside the Octagon, and he's handling everything inside it -- have
led to steps that will allow him to reach his goals for 10 to 15
years from now.
The first step in this plan is of course to win the championship
back from Serra. St. Pierre wants it made very clear that him
winning the rematch is the only possible outcome.
"I am going to come with a specific strategy, and it's going to be
a different story," he said emphatically. "They're going to see my
eyes when I step into the Octagon. I'm going to have a different
look. I'm going to look like a totally different guy, and people
will understand when they see that fight."
After watching St. Pierre's most recent dismantling of Hughes, it's
easy to believe he means what he says. One of the things he credits
for the rebound was his decision to see a sports psychologist after
the learning the impact it had on some Olympians.
"I used to think that people who needed to see a psychologist were
crazy or weak," he said. "But at a certain level you need it.
Visualization and positive imagery are very important. People
underestimate the power of the mental aspect; it helped me a
After the Serra fight, St. Pierre's long-term plan gets only more
"He wants to leave a legacy," Spenser said. "He wants to be the
most dominant fighter the UFC and MMA has ever seen, and he intends
to accomplish that by dominating the 170-pound weight class, moving
up to the 185 weight class and then eventually the light
That's a pretty daunting goal, but Spenser thinks if anyone can do
it, Georges has shown that he's the one. "If he does that," she
said, "I don't think there's a doubt that he will be the best
fighter to ever have graced the sport."
So when might this move up weight classes happen? St. Pierre is not
"When it's going to be time, it's going to be time," he said. "It's
going to depend on the circumstances. It's going to be for the
Spenser added: "That's going to be a discussion we have with the
UFC after this next fight. They've got some contenders that they've
proposed down the road. We don't have an exact plan as to when that
would occur. There's definitely a few more fights at the 170
Asked how close he is now to being the fighter he wants to be, St.
Pierre answered that he will never be perfect.
"I'll get closer and closer, but I'll never reach perfection
because perfection is impossible," he said. "I'm still learning new
techniques ... getting better."
Still getting better? Maybe he is.
Regardless, Georges St.
Pierre (Pictures) has already begun writing his
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