YA MAGAZINE.CA / Sports

GEORGES "RUSH" ST. PIERRE pt.2

We hear many UFC all-time greats saying that you are the future of this sport. Does that put any extra pressure on you to win your fights?

It doesn't. It's great to hear that people give me that credit, but I don't think it's made yet. I still have a lot to do to be the future of this sport, and my work is not done yet.

You've already beaten many of the great legendary fighters in your weight class and have one championship title under you. What else do you feel you have left to do?

I need to be the undisputed champion and go up in the weight class and get other titles. But I'm never going to fight a friend or a training parter so if that's in the way then I'm just going to wait for the right time.

You constantly say that when you lost your championship title to Matt Serra, a winner of &The Ultimate Fighter& reality TV show, it was the best thing to ever happen to you. What's your take on that fight?

Well, Matt Serra was a better man. I'm not the kind of guy that makes excuses. People that know me knew what happened. I'm going to say I made many mistakes and I had a lot of issues. I'm not only talking about physical, I'm talking about mental and life issues. But it's done. I lost that fight because that night Serra was the better man. He beat me fair and square and next time it's going to be a different story.

What kind of changes have you made since then?

I changed my life. I made a clean up in my life, in my entourage. It helped me a lot, not only in my training. A lot of things had happened in my life. Some people had died in my family, in a car accident. Some other people were sick. I had to take care of a lot of people in my family. It was crazy. It was the worst time of my life. Also in my entourage and my management, I got screwed. A lot of people were stealing money from me, and I made a big cleanup. Now, I'm gonna make sure these things never happen again. And if it happens again and I have another fight, I will cancel my fight. I cannot promise my fans I will never lose again, but I can promise them that every time they see me fight, they're going to see Georges St. Pierre 110%.

Do you think it's easier to compete with the confidence of a previous win, or do you go harder coming off a loss?

I think it depends on the situation. There are a lot of factors that can influence a fight: Does the guy have an injury? Is he training seriously? Does he have a life issue, a mental or a physical issue? All combined these things can make the difference in a fight. I think it's not a question of coming back from a loss or from a win; it's a question of how your mental state is at the moment that makes the difference.

For your match against Josh Koscheck (a previous 4-time NCAA Division I all-American wrestler) the majority of your training consisted of wrestling. But you're traditionally known more for your karate style. Are you changing your focus now?

Well, I try to be as well-rounded as I can. I don't really focus on something particularly. I try to focus on everything at the same time. I try to improve my skill day-after-day. That's how you become a better fighter.

Everyone said your comeback fight with Koscheck was the most important match of your career. But in April, you're up for another title fight with the guy who took it away. What do you think?

I think every fight is the most important fight. My next fight is the most important fight. When people say something like that, they try to put pressure on me. But the truth is, I have to see my career like a marathon, not like a sprint. If I am successful in a long way, it will be better than if I was successful in a short way.

You've said before that you actually prefer to be on your feet in matches, rather than grappling on the ground. Do you go in the Octagon with tactics to stay off the mat or do you just let it flow from the get-go?

It always depends who I'm fighting. I try to fight my opponent where he is the weakest. I don't want to fight my opponent against his strenghts. I have a game plan before the fight starts all the time. I know what I'm supposed to do to win.

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