Montreal Quebec, Canada will be invaded by the World's largest Mixed Martial Arts organization as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) brings it's big dogs, and most popular Canadian athlete since Wayne Gretzky to the Bell Centre in Montreal on December 11th. To help you get into the mood I have once again decided to do the predictions column in a slightly different then normal fashion, as I broke down 2 fights a day from the PPV card leading to Friday (today), in which I will now break down how I feel the Main Event between Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre, and the very vocal challenger Josh Koscheck will play out.
Today is the final installment, therefore we will be focusing on the fight that we've all been talking about for almost a year since we found out Josh Koscheck would coach opposite Georges St. Pierre on season 12 of The Ultimate Fighter. So let's jump right in to this one shall we?
Josh Koscheck has done a great job at trying to get people to believe he is less of an underdog then one may have first thought. He did this by using one of his biggest tools (other then himself) which is his mouth. Dan Hardy also had great success using the same tactics to make believers out of some. We all know how that one went. Koscheck is better then Hardy, so my intentions are not to compare the two on a fight style level. The problem lies in the fact that this is a 'Been there, done that' type of fight for Georges, who is yet to lose a rematch, winning back to back bouts over Hughes in incredible fashion, and avenging the loss that Pierre haters still point to on a daily basis against Matt Serra.
Is there reason to believe that Josh will take Georges' 20-2 record and make it slightly less impressive after tomorrow night? Of course there is reason, but that chance is low. Many, including Koscheck himself point to Josh as 'coming a long way' since the first bout between the two. This is true. Koscheck now seems a lot more comfortable on the feet, and one could argue what little time he spent on the feet with Anthony Johnson and Paulo Thiago (pre KO), that Koscheck was in fact getting the better of the exchanges. So he has certainly evolved. No denying that.
But hold on a minute.
Georges St. Pierre would probably tend to think he too has evolved since then. And who are we to argue? He has looked absolutely flawless for quite some time now. In fact St. Pierre's style is slightly reminiscent of that of his opponent Josh's when Josh is fighting at his smartest. Think about it. Josh knew better then to stand with 'Rumble' and 'Semtex' since the two are heavy handed, and he had just been KO'd by Thiago before that. So what does Koscheck do? He wins the quick jab game, and takes it to the mat where he knows he has the advantage. Sound familiar? Well it should because Georges St. Pierre not only uses a similar gameplan, he perfected it.
I feel you can look at Josh as a slightly lesser version of Georges St. Pierre. And the majority of that comes from the mental aspect. Pierre simply has no shame in learning, and never stops. He seems to take all his weaknesses from one fight, and diminish them the next. When Pierre says 'You'll see a new and improved Georges St. Pierre the next time', he means it. Georges really wanted those sub attempts against Hardy, and you could tell he was disappointed to not get the win by submission. He won't let that happen again. It's not, in his mind, acceptable.
So, how will this fight go you're asking? Shut up and get to the fight break down you say? Fine, fine.
I feel Georges is really fired up, and I think Koscheck did truly get to Pierre. With most fighters you could argue that getting in their heads can throw them off. With Pierre however, we have seen no evidence of this being true. Look for Koscheck to keep a smile on his face in the midst of inner fear, as Pierre smiles back while quickly taking control. Don't be surprised to see Pierre looking comfortable on his feet, and getting to the punch faster then Koscheck is able to.
Will this one go to the mat? Of course. And it will be when Georges wants it to. The thighs of Pierre's resemble that of one Mirko Crocop's welded on to a Welterweight. When Koscheck shoots and we see that single leg fail due to the hopping sprawl of the large piston like leg below Pierre's frame cease the forward movement of Josh, we will fast see a new gameplan from Koscheck. Survival. As we have seen many a time, Georges sets a miraculous pace, and quickly takes opponents mindsets from trying to win, to trying to survive.
Once Georges gets Josh out of his element, look for the impossible to stop double leg takedown from Pierre. From there it's a matter of rinse, cycle, repeat. That is, until Pierre spots an opening. It takes a lot to get to Pierre, but the fans, and Koscheck seem to have done just that with the 'not finishing' part of Georges fight game. Pierre will be a lot more ruthless on the ground as he pounds away at Josh forcing the limbs of Koscheck upward in defense. It is then that Mr. Pierre will seek out a limb or look to make Josh force to give his back. Once this occurs the long reigning Welterweight Champion will make certain to put Koscheck away with a fight ending submission.
***Georges St. Pierre by way of that armbar he wanted on Hardy so bad***
Well that does it for me. Hope you enjoyed my take on this fight, and the priors from the past few days that will also be on tomorrow's card. Make sure to let me know how you see this fight playing out, and I'd love to see some comments here as well as on the Mania fanpost page.
Thanks for your time boys. Looking forward to your response, and tomorrow's night of hopefully great fights.