Wednesday, December 8, 2021

GSP Coach Not Interested in Titles, Wants ‘Epic’ McGregor or Bisping Fights

If Tristar coach Firas Zahabi has his way, Georges St-Pierre (GSP) will fight UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor or middleweight title-holder, Michael Bisping

Many fight fans got their wish last week when it was confirmed that George St-Pierre would be returning to the UFC’s ranks following more than three years away from MMA. The ever-popular fighter will soon have an opponent announced for his return fight, and who better than the biggest name in MMA to test your steel against. A fight against McGregor would undoubtedly be at either welterweight or a catch-weight, however, and would further irritate fans and opponents who are angry at the Irishman’s lack of title defences. Should a “red panty night” fail to materialize for GSP, Michael Bisping would be more than happy to throw in his hat for a “big money” fight.

St-Pierre’s coach, Firas Zahabi, told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour that he wants “epic fights” for his pupil:

“My ideal scenario, I don’t know if it’s still up for grabs, but I was really happy when there was a buzzing of Bisping or McGregor. I thought those two would be two epic fights. One, he would go a little lower [in weight]; one, he would go a little higher. But those are really, really intriguing fights. Of course, Tyron Woodley, he’s the [welterweight] champion and et cetera, but he has his fight with ‘Wonderboy’ [Thompson]. And if ‘Wonderboy’ wins, then they’ll have a trilogy. And of course we don’t want to fight with ‘Wonderboy,’ we go way back together.

“So I think the welterweight title is not really something he (St-Pierre) is thinking about right now because of the current landscape, but there is always the 185-pound belt. And of course, McGregor is such a mega-star that if you put those two on a main event, I don’t think that anybody in the world wouldn’t watch that. I think that even non-MMA fans would watch that. But again, I don’t do the match-ups, I don’t do the managing, I’m just talking as a trainer.”

With comments seemingly suggesting that at least a welterweight title is of no interest to GSP at this point, Zahabi’s comments correspond to a narrative that fighters are far more interested in “big fights”, or fights which will invariably be of financial reward more than anything else:

“As long as it’s a five-round fight,” Zahabi said. “I can’t picture George doing a three-round fight to be honest.

“I’m not so worried about titles. I think he’s done that. It would be great if it’s a title, but it comes down to a good name that he likes and it’s exciting, and it’s something the fans would want to see.”

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