MMANews.com's own Chris Howie recently caught up with one of the top 170 pound fighters in the sport of mixed-martial arts today, Georges “Rush” St. Pierre, to discuss his upcoming bout with Josh Koscheck at UFC 74 on August 25th, his last fight – the loss to Matt Serra and all the fallout from that afterwards, his buddies fighting at UFC 74 along with him, his training changes and improvements, among many other topics. Below is a complete transcript of the interview conducted on August 1, 2007.
GEORGES ST. PIERRE INTERVIEW (August 1, 2007)
Chris Howie of MMANews.com: Okay this is Chris Howie with MMANews.com and today I'm joined by Georges “Rush” St. Pierre. How are you doing today, Georges?
Georges “Rush” St. Pierre: Good. How are you?
MMANews.com: I'm not doing too bad at all. How's training going for your upcoming fight?
Georges St. Pierre: Training is doing very well. I'm in the best shape of my life.
MMANews.com: How do you feel you match up with Josh Koscheck?
Georges St. Pierre: Well, he's a very good striker but I think I'm better than him at pretty much everything. I'm gonna have to dictate the pace and make him fight my fight, not his fight.
MMANews.com: Does his wrestling bother you at all? Are you worried about that any?
Georges St. Pierre: Yeah, of course. Everything bothering me is he's got a great right hand, great guillotine, he's an awesome wrestler, so of course. The guy has everything, he's a top guy right now but I'm glad to fight him. I wanted to have the best opponent possible after my loss. I wanted to get back on track with everything, that's why I'm happy to fight him.
MMANews.com: With a win over Koscheck, do you feel you'd become the number one contender again for the Welterweight title, or do you feel you'd have another fight before the title shot?
Georges St. Pierre: I think I would go back right away to the title. I hope so.
MMANews.com: Do you feel what the UFC did with having [Matt] Hughes and [Matt] Serra on The Ultimate Fighter, do you feel they should have done that …putting the title on hold? Does that bother you at all?
Georges St. Pierre: Never bothered me at all. I just hope I'm going to fight the winner of that fight. I hope it's gonna be Serra [that wins] because I want to have a rematch with him, but I don't know what's going to happen.
MMANews.com: After the fight with Serra there was a lot of back and forth things going on with you two. Do you regret any of the stuff that was said there?
Georges St. Pierre: Well yeah…[long pause] I felt like after my loss, I had so many people tell me “how come you didn't look the same, you didn't look sharp…what happened to you” and stuff like “during your ring walk you didn't look yourself” and stuff like that. So I felt like I had to explain myself and I made a mistake. I apologize though and now it's over.
MMANews.com: So you explained yourself to those asking and he maybe took it the wrong way?
Georges St. Pierre: Exactly. You know I shouldn't have …I'm a personal fighter with a lot of pride and I shouldn't have said anything no matter what. If I took the fight it's because I'm ready to deal with the consequences, so if I lost I have to deal with that and take my loss like a man, you know?
MMANews.com: What are some other fighters you have your eyes on to fight in the future in the UFC right now?
Georges St. Pierre: Well, Josh Koscheck would be number one. I hope I'm gonna fight with Matt Serra and maybe Matt Hughes if he beats Matt Serra. I hope Matt Serra will win but I don't know if he's going to, but I hope he's gonna win because I want that rematch. I know I'm better than what I showed [against Serra] last time.
MMANews.com: Who are you training with right now in preparation for Koscheck?
Georges St. Pierre: I'm training with different guys. I do a lot of specific training – boxing, wrestling, but for MMA I'm training with Greg Jackson's camp with Rashad Evans, Nathan Marquardt, Patrick Cote, all the guys I know in Quebec.
MMANews.com: Now you're in Quebec now training with those guys, when will you be going down to New Mexico to work with the Jackson camp?
Georges St. Pierre: I go there in like three or four weeks. Sometimes guys there will come back up with me to help.
GSP fights Josh Koscheck in the semi-main event of UFC 74 on Aug. 25 …
MMANews.com: They go back with you to Quebec?
Georges St. Pierre: Yeah.
MMANews.com: Right on. Are you glad that some of your friends – Jonathan Goulet and Patrick Cote are fighting on the same card and how do you see those guys doing against their respective opponents?
Georges St. Pierre: That's some great news. I'm glad for them. They work very hard and they really deserve that.
MMANews.com: How do you think Patrick will do against Kendall [Grove]?
Georges St. Pierre: I'm very confident that Patrick will win. He looks better than ever and I look forward to a good fight.
MMANews.com: After the incidents after the fight with Serra, he said he would kind of put his foot down to make sure you don't train with Renzo [Gracie], do you still work with the Gracie's or did the stuff with Serra cause problems there?
Georges St. Pierre: The conflict with Serra caused a problem [with that] but I have a new place to train with different people now. I'm not on bad terms though, I like the people at Renzo Gracie's and I thank them for helping me so much. I really like Renzo and all those guys, it's just because Serra is an older student than me down there [that the relationship ended]. Maybe one day I can go back and work with those guys again. For now while I'm training to fight, as far as Renzo's, I can not go back there.
MMANews.com: They had Matt Serra and Matt Hughes as the coaches for The Ultimate Fighter 6 as I mentioned before. Now is that something you were going to be doing with Hughes building up to a rubber match between the two of you and then the Serra fight changed everything? Or was that something that came up after your fight with Serra?
Georges St. Pierre: Probably after. I have no clue. I don't know.
MMANews.com: Here's a general question for you – who are some of your favorite fighters to watch compete?
Georges St. Pierre: A lot of guys. I like to watch Matt Hughes. I like to watch B.J. Penn too, Anderson Silva. I like Rashad Evans, Nate Marquardt. A lot of guys, you know? I will say for last, one guy I like to watch the most is Kazushi Sakuraba.
MMANews.com: Okay. Now you mentioned Anderson Silva. You actually told us in a previous interview that you want to go up to Middleweight. Is that something you're still looking to do, or are you too focused on the tasks you have at Welterweight right now?
Georges St. Pierre: I'm focusing on the Welterweights, but one day if I become champion and I beat most of the other guys in my division, then I'll maybe go up to 185 pounds.
MMANews.com: Do you feel the loss to Serra was something that might have helped you in a way? Mentally and all that?
Georges St. Pierre: It helped me a lot because I trained a lot of things, but when you win you don't fix something that is not broken. So that's why it was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
MMANews.com: What are some areas of your game that you've been focusing on lately. Like your striking, your Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Anything new that you've been adding to your game, things like that?
Georges St. Pierre: I have a new boxing coach. I train at a place where the WBA champion of 154 pounds trains, and another guy who's going to be boxing for the IBF title too. So I'm at the best place for that for where I live and I train with top guys for every other discipline.
MMANews.com: In a recent interview, Josh Koscheck said that he feels you have the skills but you don't have the heart or the chin to deal with him. Do you have any response to those comments?
Georges St. Pierre: I think he hasn't seen my fight with B.J. Penn.
MMANews.com: [laughs] True enough. Do you have any prediction for your fight with Koscheck?
Georges St. Pierre: My prediction is I'm going to win. And I always look for the worst, like a three round war with my hand raised at the end. But if I can go for a finish before it, I will. If I get the opportunity, I'll finish him when Koscheck makes his first mistake.
MMANews.com: Is there any aspects of your game you feel definitely needs improved?
Georges St. Pierre: Oh yeah, of course. Nobody is perfect. I keep working on stuff everyday.
MMANews.com: Is there anything you'd like to say to your fans before we wrap up here?
Georges St. Pierre: I'd like to thank my fans for their support and tell them that they'll see the real “GSP” back next time. [laughs]
MMANews.com: [laughing] Okay. Any sponsors or anything you'd like to say on the way out?
Georges St. Pierre: I just want to thank everybody who's been helping me prepare for this fight.
MMANews.com: Okay Georges, I won't hold you up any longer here. I'll let you get back to training. Just want to thank you for the time today and wish you good luck in your bout at UFC 74 “Respect” on August 25th.
Georges St. Pierre: Thank you very much. Take care.
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