Tri-Star trainer Firas Zahabi was a guest on Beatdown radio with T.J. De Santis and Jon Luther of Sherdog yesterday, and had some very interesting things regarding his star pupil Georges St. Pierre changing weight classes. They started off asking Firas about what would be required for GSP to move to middleweight, and he threw them for a loop with his answer. He said that he actually recommends that St. Pierre should move down to 155, not up to 185 (starts around the 88 minute mark):
"Well to be honest with you, I have recommended to Georges, you know...the only reason I don't recommend it now is because Frankie Edgar is the champion, but I'd want him to move down to 155 if Frankie was not the champion. Obviously we're part of the Renzo Gracie team and we'd never fight Frankie Edgar, because obviously we're all Renzo Gracie fighters. But if it wasn't the case, you know, I'd rather him go down to 155 because Georges is not a very big welterweight. People might think he is, he's actually not very big. And him making 170 is extremely easy for him.
Honestly, it's probably one of the easiest weight cuts from all that I coach, and I coach a lot of professional fighters. Georges making 170 is getting a little too easy for him, so I'd recommend to him in the future, who knows what the cards hold, but if we don't have a team member that's champion or anything like that, I would recommend him to go down first before going up."
Zahabi continued by explaining some things about GSP's body type and training that have led him to the conclusion that he could make 155, and how he would go about getting him there:
"Georges' body type, he's actually ectomorph, he's very lean. He doesn't put on a lot of muscle unless we make do a lot of lifting, and I do make him do a lot of lifting. That's one of the reasons why I wanted him to start doing Olympic lifting, and just a high volume of weightlifting is what will keep him muscular. Because Georges doesn't really put on fat and muscle very easily, and I really think he could lose a little bit of muscle. He doesn't have much fat on him, and a lot of water and a lot of electrolytes. Just doing the weight cut from like 175, he would make it down to 155 quite easily."
He also mentioned that St. Pierre was weighing in camp, which is a lot lower than expected:
Right now for this camp, he's been around 183 or 184, and that's before workouts. That's because we've been doing more gymnastics and less weightlifting.
This is the first time I've ever heard it mentioned that GSP could make lightweight, and the idea of it is much more appealing then him moving up to me. Zahabi does go on to discuss how GSP could possibly move up, and says that he'd want him to take at least one fight at the weight before a middleweight title shot, but still makes it clear that he'd rather see him go down. The stuff about 155 is extremely interesting and opens up a world of possibilities.