Since being knocked out by Matt Serra in 2007, Georges St-Pierre’s fighting style has dramatically changed. Early in his career, he was known for being a relentless offensive fighter that utilized combinations of strikes and takedowns to finish his opponents. Prior to the Serra loss, he had only ever gone the distance three times in his entire professional mixed martial arts career. Afterwards, nine of his twelve fights were decision victories. Many critics blame his change in style on Greg Jackson, one of his trainers and cornermen.
In a recent interview with MMA Mania, Tim Kennedy, who also trains under Greg Jackson, said that the criticisms directed towards the famed MMA coach are completely baseless.
“Even when they said it, it was ridiculous. Totally unfounded. If you look at the past ten fights. The fighters that have won the “submission of the night”, the “knockout of the night”, and “fight of the night” bonuses are almost exclusively Jackson guys,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy said that if there is anyone to blame for GSP’s boring fighting style, it should be Firas Zahabi, not Greg Jackson. He supported his argument by pointing out how Rory MacDonald’s fighting style has also changed in the direction of GSP’s since he began training with Zahabi.
“In my last fight camp, it was me, Rustam (Khabilov), Adlan (Amagov), and (Donald) Cerrone, all in fight camp at the same time. All of us fighting three weeks apart and all of us had a ‘knockout of the night’ or ‘fight of the night.’ Then you look at Firas (Zahabi) and you look at Rory MacDonald.”
Zahabi is a coach and owner of TriStar Gym in Montreal, Canada. Kennedy does bring up a valid point, TriStar Gym is known for having very good, but extremely boring fighters.
“I remember when he fought Nate Diaz and it was extreme grappling, vicious strikes. That guy was scary. Now we’re two years removed from that fight and the transition is now a guy jabbing from the outside. Not even in volume. It’s just horrible. It’s so boring.”
Although many TriStar Gym fighters are arguably boring to watch, it’s very difficult to criticize their skill.