by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Prior to his UFC 111 title defense against Dan Hardy, welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre spent two weeks in Manhattan working at the Renzo Gracie Academy to help sharpen his skills in preparation for the fight.
St-Pierre has worked with Renzo Gracie black belt John Danaher for several fights now, and always credits the work he does with them for his incredible ground acumen. Much of that skill showed on Saturday night when St-Pierre wrenched Hardy’s arm in two different submissions that nearly finished the fight.
But when it was all over, St-Pierre wasn’t screaming about how great he did, or how close he came to finishing. He simply said he was disappointed in himself for not finishing. When the fight ended, the first thing the Canadian did before allowing any interviews or post fight celebration was to talk to Gracie and his team about what he did wrong in not finishing the submission.
“Jiu-jitsu is a very, very important part of this style of fighting. If it wasn’t, I don’t think I’d have Georges St-Pierre for 15 days at my school now training, and after he finished his fight (with Hardy), the first thing he did was to grab us, to go in the back, and says ‘show me what I did wrong, why I didn’t finish him,” Gracie said during a fan question and answer session on Tuesday.
A legend in the sport and in the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Gracie explained the technical side of what St-Pierre did wrong, allowing Hardy to survive the submission attempts.
“It was a very simple question. When he was doing the Kimura lock, instead of being at 12 o’clock, he should have been at 9 o’clock,” said Gracie. “Like his lower body shouldn’t have been here, that would give him the leverage to actually get the guy’s arm to break.”
Knowing the way that St-Pierre soaks in knowledge, Gracie is confident that if he’s ever in that position again, his opponent will tap or the arm will snap.
“Things like that, I know next time he won’t make the mistake,” Gracie said about St-Pierre.
Regardless of the submission, Gracie was very proud of St-Pierre for his performance, and he showed the dominance of a champion once again.
“That was an unbelievable fight, he didn’t stop for a second,” Gracie said.
Renzo Gracie himself is now closing out his own fight camp as he prepares for his showdown with former welterweight champion Matt Hughes at UFC 112 on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.