- GSP: “I’M IN THE SPORT TO BE CHAMPION”

January 4, 2008
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by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
With his win at UFC 79 over Matt Hughes, Georges St. Pierre defeated arguably the greatest champion in Ultimate Fighting Championship history for the second time. He is now poised for another match-up with current welterweight champion Matt Serra.

What St. Pierre was able to do by taking Hughes down using his rapidly developing wrestling prowess was nothing short of amazing and it was the game plan and strategy that St. Pierre and his team had going into the fight.

“Matt Hughes made some adjustments, so he thought I was going to keep the fight standing up,” said St. Pierre. “So my game plan in the beginning of the fight was to score takedowns on him to make him worry not only about my stand-up, but to make him worry about my takedowns.”

The strategy worked to perfection as St. Pierre scored multiple takedowns in the bout, which allowed him to work his way past Hughes’ defense and lock on the fight ending submission in the second round.

St. Pierre credits all of his coaches and trainers for helping him prepare for the bout, especially mixed martial arts guru Greg Jackson. The welterweight sensation gave him much adoration for his skill in setting up the perfect plan for the fight.

“He is the maestro and I am the musician, I play the music,” St. Pierre commented about Jackson. “Greg and all my other trainers and myself as well, we talked about it before the fight. I called Greg all the time and said to Greg ‘what do I have to do to win this fight?’ He gave me very precise instructions to winning the fight and what I should do round-by-round, step-by-step and I just execute it.”

After the fight was stopped in the second round due to an armbar, the UFC presented St. Pierre with an interim welterweight title, but the Canadian will wait to fight current champion Matt Serra before wrapping any championship around his waist.

“To me, the interim world title, it doesn’t mean nothing to me,” said St. Pierre adamantly. “The real champion is Matt Serra. I don’t have any business to wear the belt. To me it’s like a trophy to my collection, but I’m not allowed to wear it.”

“I’m in the sport to be champion, to be No. 1 not to be No. 2. I want to be No. 1. And if I’m No. 2, I’m not interested to wear a belt, which is the symbol of being No. 1.”

While St. Pierre stays focused on his ultimate goal of once again becoming the UFC welterweight champion, he knows that Serra will look for lightning to strike a second time in their next go around.

“I got beat by a better fighter than me that night,” St. Pierre stated about Serra’s victory over him. “I give props to Matt Serra. He’s a great champion, but now I’m on the top of my game right now and I’m sharper than I’ve ever been. It’s going to be a different story next time.”

No specific date has been announced for the St. Pierre/Serra match-up, but Serra recently confirmed to NBCSports.com that he has accepted the fight against St. Pierre and expects it to take place when the UFC debuts in Canada. The UFC has not officially announced the bout or a date, but vice president Marc Ratner previously confirmed to MMAWeekly.com that the promotion was in negotiations for an April 19 date at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

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