In less than two weeks, legendary former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre makes his return to the Octagon for the first time since 2013. GSP will make his middleweight debut against reigning champion Michael Bisping in the UFC 217 main event, and the back-and-forth verbal sparring continued on Monday.
St-Pierre appeared on The MMA Hour, and he expressed his belief that the Brit has no interest in dealing with his vaunted wrestling abilities.
“He’s playing always the same song. He’s terrified of me wrestling him. Terrified,” St-Pierre said. “In every interview he does, he’s begging me to stand and bang with him. In every interview. ... I mean, if you don’t know the ground (game), you shouldn’t be in MMA. You should be in kickboxing.
“Fighting on the ground is part of the game, and he’s terrified. So he wants me to be like, ‘Oh, okay, I’m going to stand and bang with you.’
“I’m going to use all my tools,” St-Pierre continued. “Not only one tool, but all of them. That’s a mind game that he’s trying to play.”
The last time any Bisping opponent committed to a wrestling-centric gameplan was Tim Kennedy, who took “The Count” down five times (on eleven attempts) on his way to a five-round unanimous decision win back in 2014.
St-Pierre hasn’t won by stoppage since 2009, when B.J. Penn’s corner decided he had enough punishment after four rounds. However, GSP is confident that he will break that drought come fight night.
“I’m much confident in this than I was before,” St-Pierre said. “I trained a lot of [aspects in my game] in the four years. People say you can’t reinvent yourself, but I’m going to prove that you can, and I’m going to prove it to everybody. I’m not the same guy that I was before, the last time. I have a lot more tools … and I’m specialized in different things. I have a lot of new tricks that I’m going to bring to the game.
“I’m going to finish him, that’s what I believe,” St-Pierre vowed. “Either a knockout or submission.”
UFC 217 takes place at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, New York on Saturday, November 4th.