by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Hero vs. Villain
It’s the age-old story that’s easiest to tell, and in the promoting business, it’s easiest to sell. When Georges St-Pierre faces off against Josh Koscheck, first as coaches on Season 12 of “The Ultimate Fighter” and then in a fight for the UFC welterweight title, it’s pretty clear that this is a case of MMA hero vs. villain.
St-Pierre is arguably the most popular and famed fighter in the sport today, while Koscheck has made no secrets that he’s not concerned with what people think about him. So long as he’s successful, they’ll just have to get used to seeing his face.
The Canadian superstar was cageside for Koscheck’s fight against Paul Daley last Saturday night, and when the American Kickboxing Academy fighter went for the proverbial throat to goad the Montreal crowd, St-Pierre says he’d didn’t mind the comments at all. He actually liked them.
“I liked the comment that he made at the end. It was awesome. He’s a perfect villain,” St-Pierre told MMAWeekly Radio on Wednesday. “I like him even more cause of this.”
Playing the villain to GSP’s hero will surely show in the ratings for the reality show set to start filming in June, and when they fight later this year the chatter heading into that will be epic as well. St-Pierre admits he likes Koscheck, and knows that all the talk will only help build for their eventual fight.
“I like Josh Koscheck, he’s awesome. It’s going to build up the fight better saying bad things to each other,” St. Pierre said with a laugh.
The champion knows that Koscheck is a challenge, and that he wouldn’t be in the position he’s in without winning. He also understands it’s not an easy place to be with 20,000 fans against you after a fight.
“It’s normal. He’s confident coming into that fight. He’s a fighter. For sure if he doesn’t think he’s going to win the fight, he’s not going to take the fight. It’s going to be up to me to prove him wrong,” said St-Pierre.
“I put myself in his shoes with the people booing him. It was just very funny what he said.”
The fight between St-Pierre and Koscheck is set to go down later this year, most likely towards the end of 2010. At the UFC 113 post-fight press conference, Josh Koscheck declined to come back to Montreal for the title fight and instead implored UFC president Dana White to bring the fight to his hometown of Pittsburgh.
St-Pierre says wherever they fight is fine by him because ultimately they still have to fight to prove who’s best, and that’s not determined by location.
“As long as it’s a fair fight and there is no biased judges, everything is fair. I’m agreed to do it wherever it is. I don’t care,” St-Pierre stated.
The last time St-Pierre and Koscheck met it was after the Canadian’s stunning upset loss to Matt Serra. The reigning and defending welterweight champion has not lost since then, and Koscheck was the first fight where he was able to show the tremendous wrestling base that he hadn’t really displayed before.
The result ended up being several takedowns from St-Pierre on Koscheck, who was an NCAA champion wrestler himself at Edinboro College in Pennsylvania. Knowing that the surprise factor worked well for him last time, St-Pierre understands that Koscheck probably knows now how good his wrestling is, but there’s always new tricks to show off.
“He’s a different fighter than when I fought him the first time. The first time I had the element of surprise. I was able to take him out of his comfort zone by using my wrestling skills. He didn’t know how my wrestling was,” St-Pierre said.
“This time I don’t have this element of surprise, but I’m going to have to use another element of surprise you guys might find out in the fight.”
He’ll have plenty of time to work up some new surprises for the fight, as St-Pierre will head out to Las Vegas in June to begin filming the new season of “The Ultimate Fighter” and then get ready to defend his title later this year against Koscheck.