As Jonathan Brookins and Michael Johnson get ready to square off to determine the champion from the twelfth season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” it appears both former Team GSP members are happy with the coach they ended up with.
Johnson ended up being George St-Pierre’s number one overall pick, while Brookins proved to be the team’s most solid performer during the duration of the show. Both were extremely happy the UFC welterweight champion chose them during team selections.
For Brookins it came down to St-Pierre’s coaching staff that worked with the team on a daily basis from the first time entering the gym until the team left the show several weeks later.
“During the filming it became apparent fairly quick that we were getting a different set of coaches, a different look so to speak, than the other team,” Brookins said. “We were beginning to kind of be coached from people from all over the world. It became kind of you almost didn’t want to brag to the other team, (but) you almost had something to brag about.”
During the filming of the show, St-Pierre brought in several top coaches from different camps including Renzo Gracie black belt John Danaher and of course famed Muay Thai striker Jean-Charles Skarbowsky.
Johnson also believes it was GSP’s hands-on approach that made a big difference for him, as opposed to the type of coaching that Josh Koscheck employed with his team on the show.
“I think the main thing that separated our coaching staff from their coaching staff was Georges actually trained with us every day,” Johnson revealed. “I got a feeling Koscheck didn’t do that. He was more of ‘let me sit on the sideline and try to kill these guys through the sixth week’ as opposed to helping these guys win.”
Johnson was a unique case when looking back at how he actually ended up on St-Pierre’s team to start the show. With GSP and Josh Koscheck about to make picks, both had Johnson rated very highly on their personal pick boards, but the Canadian employed some sly trickery, making his UFC 124 opponent believe he was going to go after Marc Stevens, a fighter Koscheck coached in college wrestling.
The strategy worked. Koscheck ended up picking Stevens and GSP got his wish by landing Michael Johnson as his first pick.
Ultimately, Johnson was happy to end up on Team GSP, and while he believes he could have had the same success under Koscheck, he’s glad he never had to find out.
“I know the type of fighter I am, and know my determination probably would have still worked out and gotten me to this point (where) I am now,” Johnson commented. “But as far as me being well prepared coach-wise, and knowing the things that I know, because I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve used all those in my fights to win up to this point.
“Looking back on the season and seeing how Koscheck ran his team, and me kind of having a sense in the back of my mind that his team was going to be ran like that, I don’t think I would have been well coached and well prepared.”
If the fighters in the season’s final are any indication, it appears St-Pierre did his job as coach, and at least has one up on Koscheck heading into their rematch next weekend at UFC 124.