Georges St-Pierre Can’t Make Everyone Happy But Wants to Show Killer Instinct for Finshes

September 27, 2012
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It will have been nearly 19 months since Georges St-Pierre last stepped foot in the Octagon when he returns at UFC 154 on Nov 17.

In that time, St-Pierre has undergone reconstructive knee surgery to repair a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), but the time off also provided the long reigning UFC champion some much needed time off to rest his body and mind.

Following his last fight with Jake Shields at UFC 129, St-Pierre admits he was reaching mass critical in terms of his psyche with the fight game, and the time off was actually a blessing in disguise.

“I was at the point before my injury that I went to train because I had to, not because I wanted to really much,” St-Pierre said on Thursday at the UFC 154 pre-fight press conference.

“I lost motivation and I learned that in my career sometimes you need to break something to fix it. You need to break it yourself and fix it before it breaks by itself, so what I mean is I don’t need to lose a fight to improve my training schedule to make me a better martial artist. I need to stay on top of the game before the fight game catch up on me. That’s what the long layoff allowed me to do.”

In the past few years while St-Pierre has remained the top draw in the entire UFC, he’s also come under intense scrutiny for what is perceived as a ‘play it safe’ mentality with his fights.

Through his first 7 victories in the UFC, St-Pierre finished five of them by either TKO or submission, and he looked like a machine putting away opponents. Then the shot heard round the world seemingly changed everything.

St-Pierre was knocked out by unlikely opponent Matt Serra in the first round of their fight at UFC 69 in 2007. Since that loss, St-Pierre has remained undefeated, but has taken criticism for a change in his style that now includes a lot more wrestling, and the perception that he doesn’t go for the finish nearly as much.

Over his last nine fights since the Serra loss, St-Pierre has finished 3 opponents and gone to decision in the other six fights. While dominant in all of the victories, critics have said St-Pierre no longer has the killer instinct to put fights away in the same manner he did earlier in his career before the upset loss to Matt Serra.

St-Pierre knows it’s impossible to please everyone, but he’s making some changes to hopefully improve upon his finishing rate.

“I cannot make everyone happy, but I need to do changes in my training and make it more efficient for myself,” said St-Pierre.

The problem with gunning for finishes so often comes at the expense of taking damage in certain situations, and St-Pierre certainly wants to avoid that, but he also knows that when an opening presents itself, he needs to show killer instinct and pounce on his prey.

“The key for me because of the criticism (for the) finishes, it’s a very dangerous sport, we don’t play golf. It’s a full contact sport. For me I think the key to have more finishes is be more opportunistic. Not taking more punches or having less defense, it’s being more opportunistic and the instinct of the finish,” said St-Pierre.

“I’ve been working a lot on that the last few months and I think that’s the key to more finishes. But I’m coming into the fight, the ultimate goal is to entertain but also to win. I want to win the fight and also hurt your opponent, that’s how you win the fight.”

Only fight night will tell if St-Pierre has truly changed his mentality and approach to fighting, or if that could have an adverse effect when he faces Carlos Condit at UFC 154.

Check out MMAWeekly’s rumors page for all the fights taking place at UFC 154

  • dgs

    “Georges St-Pierre Can’t Make Everyone Happy But Wants to Show Killer Instinct for Finishes”

    I’ll believe it when I see it.

    • Machterf5

      You’ve shown that you made it as far as the title for this article. Congrats.

      • dgs

        No, actually I read the entire article, but the title is all that matters to me. I like people to put their money where their mouth is, otherwise it’s all words.

        George hasn’t shown killer instinct since his KO at the hands of Serra. Has he won his fights, sure, but not with killer instinct. He’s now a boring, play it safe fighter who does just enough to win.

        As I said previously, I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • I’m so sick of these fans putting down GSP b/c he doesn’t finish fights. He’s been the champ for years taking on every challenge. He’s fighting all the best pro fighters in the world. The last time I checked you don’t just go in there and finish every top guy in the division like Shields, Koscheck, Penn and Alves. (Yes they’ve all been stopped recently or at some point, but that’s what happens when you fight other pro world class fighters) I just don’t think half these “fans” have any respect.

    • I agree , but on the flip side I also wish GSP would stop straight up lying about wanting the finish. When the press and the fans complain, he should stand by his convictions and say “Look, I go for what’s there. Don’t cry to me, go tell these bads to learn how to sprawl.”

    • zacharydetal

      THe last time I checked Jon Jones and Anderson Silva finish the top guys in their division. I think GSP is a great fighter and knows how to win, but he’s not a finisher.

      • Cptmats

        Anyone who say “He is def not a finisher” doesn’t know much about GSP ! He has more finishes than he does decisions. He has gotten a little over cautious since the Serra fight but he still has the skills.

      • MrAdidas

        The last time I checked, Silva weighs 30lbs more than GSP, I’m. It going to comment on Jones. Your comment is flawed, when was the last time any LW, FW,BW and FW finished their opponents? The majority of the lower weight classes have a much harder time of finishing fights, WW is NOT a lot of weight, sure there are finishes, GSP has got many of the before, but look at the skilled fighters GSP fight compared to Silva, not even close dude. Silva couldn’t even finish Cote, Leites or Maia. Let GSP fight guys like that or guys like Forrest, James Irvin and Bonnar and see how many finishes he gets. How many times was BJ Penn finished? Twice and GSP was one and he was the 1st and only to make BJ quit/tko. Sonnen lost a lot of fights by submission, big deal silva did something everyone has already done, same goes for most of Silvas other opponents they were all finished as well. Now GSP on the other hand beat guys who no one could beat in 6 or 7 yrs. Fitch was untouchable and the GSP smashed his face, shields was unbeaten in 7 yrs and he beat Hendo and GSP made him look terrible when he had 2 eyes, Matt Hughes was 40+ wins and 5 losses and GSP had two of them of 5, Alves was destroying everyone from Hughes to koscheck and GSP owned him. Same goes with koscheck no one was able to out wrestle him, he’s an All American NCAA champ, yet GSP owned him in wrestling and then Broke his face in the 2nd fight.

        Sure silva finishes more fights/fighters but they are also apt weaker compared to the guys GSP fights, how many shields, fitchs, and penns did silva fight a d beat? ZERO. Not to mention GSP went 7 fights 30+ rounds without losing a single one!!! No one not silva, not even jones can come close to that stat.

        • zacharydetal

          Ok Sheilds was knocked out by Ellenberger and Fitch was knocked out by Hendricks. Bottom line is, welterweights can knock people out. Finishing fights also includes submissions. I guess at 170lbs you’re not strong enough to submit someone. Stop trying to justify and rationalize. You don’t what you’re talking about. How would Jon Jones win as many rounds as GSP when his fights rarely go five rounds. As for Sliva, he has fought the best in his division, that’s all he can do.

  • adam1848

    GSP is one of my favorite fighters ever (just realized I’m wearing a GSP shirt right now) but some of his fights have been a little less than thrilling. I’m not taking anything away from him… he is one of the best ever and an incredible ambassador for the sport, but I do feel like he has the skills to finish fights but sometimes plays it a little too safe. Remember that head kick on Hughes? And that crazy arm bar where Matt had to verbally tap because he was too tied up to move his hand? The way he beat down Serra like Matt just slapped his sister? Obviously those guys are not as well rounded as the current crop of challengers, but I’d like to see that intensity again. I’ll never forget the way Georges walked out against Serra the second time. You could see it in his eyes that it was going to be a very bad night for Matt.

  • Rence54

    A lot is made of GSP going to decision, and a couple of you guys pointed out its not like he’s fighting, say, ME for example. he’s fighting some of the best fighters on the planet, if they were easy to finish they likely wouldnt be fighting for the belt.

    But the flip side is, why dont his opponents get the same criticism for not beating him? I mean, THEY are challenging him for the belt, its on them to take it from him. They cant.

    yes, GSP has demonstrated that he sometimes has been unwilling to do what is needed to finish a fight. He could have finished Hardy. Mir, or Ronda Rousey WOULD have finished that fight. But GSP wasnt willing to break Dans arm to win, and i think thats because he knew he didnt have to. I think he was just so comfortable in his ability that he knew that even if it was going to go to the judges he was going to get the W so he chose not to cause more damage to Dan than he needed to. lol i dont think i’ve ever felt i was that good at anything in my life.

    • zacharydetal

      That last thing you said about Dan Hardy and the arm bar certainly isn’t true. In an interview GSP said after the fight he was asking his coaches why his armbar attempt was ineffective.

      • MrAdidas

        He asked his coaches what he needed to do to be more affective so that Hardy would have to tap, not bc he wanted to break it. No one, no matter what they will tell you, if the technique is applied correctly they will tap, guaranteed. But hardy didn’t need to tap bc GSP was forcing it, rather than doing it with the right technique/less force, he was trying to muscle his way to a submission. I do not believe GSP would have broken Hardys arm, regardless bc that’s the way GSP is. Jon jones said the same thing about Vitor, he thought maybe Vitor sorta eased up, to not break his arm. But Vitor, GSP etc, will never admit they eased up, bc people would think that’s an excuse, but its bc they are not willing to possibly end someone’s career if they did injure them that severely. IMHO

  • MrAdidas

    FYI: when Mir broke Noguieras arm, noguiera said he didn’t tap bc he was able to with stand the pain, but when Mir put more pressure on it, it was too late for Nog to tap bc it broke. Noguiera stated that I he had his time back he would have taped, bc now he’s been out ever since…. For what?!? Nothing! Like he said, it’s better to tap and fight another day than to not tap, look like an idiot and have surgery and be out indefinitely.

  • skiman

    GSP has had plenty of opportunity to finish, you only have to look at the Kos fight or the Thiago fight, when he dropped him with a combo, he just laid on Thiago instead of pounding him out for the finish, that was embarrassing, no killer instinct at all