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Sunday, Dec 12, 2010

Despite Dominant Win, GSP Not Impressed with Performance

By Kelsey Mowatt
Last night Georges St. Pierre methodically picked apart his rival Josh Koshcheck; largely forced to stand with the accomplished wrestler and powerful striker, St. Pierre utilized a punishing jab and precise leg kicks to score a thoroughly dominant unanimous decision win. It was a performance that demonstrated once again, why the Montreal fighter’s name continues to be mentioned in pound-for-pound debates. Yet, despite the impressive victory, despite emerging from a fight with his outspoken nemesis largely unscathed, St. Pierre refuses to take too much away from the win.
“No, I wanted to finish by knockout or submission. He’s very tough,” said St. Pierre at last night’s post UFC 124 press conference. “I closed his right eye so I was going a lot with the hook and the high left kick because I wanted to knock him out standing up. He’s very good; he’s very tough. My punches didn’t land on the target, on his chin, as much as I wanted. Next time.”
In many ways, St. Pierre’s response was predictable, as for some time now the self admitted perfectionist has felt the need to respond to his critics, who have expressed discontent with the Canadian’s inability to finish contenders like Dan Hardy and Thiago Alves. Even when asked if his latest victory held some special place, as it was over a man in Koscheck who clearly angered St. Pierre during their coaching run on “The Ultimate Fighter”, the 29 year-old offered this.
“No it’s not because I didn’t reach my goal; I wanted to finish him,” St. Pierre stated.  “I know I’m going to be criticized ‘oh you didn’t finish the fight’ but I gave everything I had. I tried; I know his eye was closed, I tried to do the head kick to knock him out. I didn’t reach my goal so it’s not the most satisfying win of my career.”
While Koscheck never looked to be in danger of being knocked out, his eye was battered, bloodied and completely swollen shut by St. Pierre’s aforementioned jab. Due to his recent time training with renowned boxing trainer Freddy Roach, the champion was eventually asked if Roach’s guidance had perhaps enhanced St. Pierre’s pugilistic technique.
“I trained a lot with Freddy Roach, but a lot of people they forget; I’ve said in interviews before, that here in Montreal I train with Howard Grant and Firas Zahabi, and these people don’t acknowledge that Howard and Firas train me every week.”St. Pierre responded. “So Freddy Roach, I see him and he helped me a lot but I only see him a few times.”
Naturally, questions regarding St. Pierre’s immediate future were raised at the press conference, and 2011 will likely see the 21-2 fighter face Jake Shields. With another welterweight contender now out of the way, speculation as to whether St. Pierre will at some point face middleweight champion Anderson Silva, just won’t go away.
“I’m going to check it out,” said St. Pierre, when asked about an all star bout with Silva. “This question is a little bit complicated because if I go up a weight class I’m going to have to put muscle on my body, because I’m going to be small for 185. If I put on muscle for 185 I’m going to have to stay at 185. I don’t want to go up and down because when you go up and down you see what happened to Roy Jones, it messes up your reaction time.”
With Silva set to face Vitor Belfort in February, and a rematch with Chael Sonnen still looming, questions as to whether St. Pierre can finish the noted grappler Shields are probably right around the corner.
posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 4:45 pm
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