The last time UFC welterweight G.O.A.T. Georges St-Pierre fought was November 16, 2013. Ronda Rousey had recently had her first UFC fight. The champ a weight above was Chris Weidman and below was Anthony Pettis, who would appear on a Wheaties box a year later. It was a long time ago.
On Saturday GSP fights middleweight champion Michael Bisping at UFC 217, and there is a real question about whether the four years away from the sport have left him rusty. However, during a recent interview with Steven Marrocco and Mike Bohn for MMAjunkie, longtime trainer Firas Zahabi said he won’t.
“If he had a limited amount of experience I believe it could be a major issue,” said Zahabi. “But again, he’s been competing since he was 6, 7 years old. For him, it’s like riding a bike. I don’t believe ring rust is an issue in this fight, in this particular fight.”
“When you fight with somebody who’s bigger than you, there’s a few techniques, movements and strategies that have to be eliminated off the table. Because if a person is bigger than you, the chances of those strategies and techniques working are far less. So when you fight somebody bigger, you have less tools.
“However, I’m a believer that the smaller guys have the superiority in movement. You can move around, move efficiently and use that to your advantage.”
There are a handful of contenders for MMA G.O.A.T. including Fedor Emelianenko, Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, Demetrious Johnson, and GSP. Zahabi believes a win over Bisping and belt in a second weight class elevates the Canadian all the way up.
“I think it cements him as the greatest fighter or all time,” said the coach. “The greatest fighter of all time. All the other candidates had USADA issues.”
Zahabi was referring to Silva and Jones, who each had USADA tests flagged. There is zero evidence of PED use by Emelianenko or Johnson