Firas Zahabi, the head trainer at TriStar gym, joined MMA Fight Corner and spoke about how strong and ready UFC Welterweight Champion, Georges St. Pierre is for his upcoming fight vs current interim welterweight champ, Carlos Condit, at UFC 154 on November 17th in Montreal, Canada.
“Georges is looking phenomenal. Actually just finished practice with him not too long ago, he’s looking in incredible shape. We’ve got him a new track coach, a couple new track coaches, this training camp. The guys have done incredible work. They’ve shaved off more than 10 seconds on his 400 meters. I’m extremely impressed with what these guys can do. He’s in the best physical shape, his legs are more powerful than ever, it’s scary.”
Since GSP hasn’t fought since April 2011, questions about his strength and ability to land his signature double leg takedown have rose to the surface. Many wonder if he’ll be the same man we saw before his ACL surgery.
“He’s taking everyone down in practice at will. So, I’m not worried about that. So, that’s not even a topic of discussion right now,” Zahabi said. “I think the only thing is when you’ve been away for so long, you kind of lose a beat. But, Georges has been fighting since he’s young…when you’ve been fighting from such a young age it’s just like riding a bike.
“Of course we won’t know for sure until the fight and that’s just the way the it is. If there’s anyone who can comeback from an ACL injury and win a world title fight, it’s GSP.”
One of Condit’s coaches, Mike Winklejohn made headlines after an appearance on Sherdog radio where he said that they know what St. Pierre will try to do because of their familiarity with from when he trained with their camp. Additionally, Winklejohn said they would try to hurt GSP. Zahabi responded explaining that’s their plan too.
“I think many guys have come up with that game plan many times and everybody seems to think that’s Georges weakness. I don’t know, we’ll have to wait and see. Of course if you hurt a fighter, it’s good. It’s always good. Hurting a fighter is always good. Georges is going to be trying to hurt Condit, Condit is going to be trying to hurt Georges and that’s the way the game is played. Nine times out of ten, the guy who hurts his opponent usually wins. It’s the game plan on both sides let’s just say.”
As far as how familiar Condit is with St. Pierre’s style and attack, Zahabi said that won’t be a problem.
“The more information you have on you opponent the better, of course. But again, we’ve worked with Winklejohn and Greg, we know the routine, we know each other well. I think it’s fair because both side have all that information.”
Though GSP may have spent time in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Zahabi said GSP and Condit never actually physically engaged other.
“Carlos and Georges have never actually trained together. They’ve been in the same place, but have never actually trained together. That’s why it’s not a big deal for them to fight each other I think.”