A trainer's primary job in mixed martial arts (MMA) is not only to get his fighter in the best possible shape, physically and mentally, for an upcoming fight. In most cases, a trainer will also help devise a very sound game plan in order achieve the ultimate goal of victory.
The starting point to a solid game plan always begins with the opponent.
For Georges St. Pierre's head trainer, Firas Zahabi, who has been at the helm of the majority of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight champion's training camps, devising a winning formula for the much-anticipated showdown against Carlos Condit at UFC 154 has proven to be quite the headache.
That's because Zahabi says the biggest danger St. Pierre will face against interim champion will be the "unpredictability"of his combinations and his overall well-round arsenal, which has proven to be very difficult to prepare for throughout the Canadian's camp.
Check out his comments to Sherdog:
"I think Carlos' style, the backbone of his style, his standup style, is that his combinations are very unpredictable. You notice he doesn't really do the same combinations twice. He's always throwing a bizarre combination and then he'll throw another bizarre combination and he keeps you guessing with his combinations. That's the danger of it because he doesn't give you any pattern to follow. It makes it hard for a trainer to drill a specific counter. He kicks to the head. He kicks to the legs. He knees to the head. He throws elbows. He throws uppercuts. He pretty much throws everything there is in a really random fashion. It makes it difficult as a coach to prepare for that, but definitely, definitely that's the biggest danger, I think. That's what we're preparing for. The angles are different. The techniques, the attacks are different. I'm getting Georges to do a lot more Muay Thai for this fight. I'm making him do knees also, putting on the chest guards and doing days where we practice the knees. Carlos is very good with the knees, the flying knee. He's got long legs. He knows how to use the spear knee to counter your punching. You can't really get into a low boxing stance because of the way his style is. You can end up kneed in the head or kicked in the head really hard. We're going to have to adjust Georges' style for that."
In short, "The Natural Born Killer" is an all-around badass.
The two best 170-pound fighters will finally square up to unify the welterweight titles in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on Nov. 17, 2012, after months and months of waiting for both parties.
Both will head into the bout with their fair share of ring rust. Condit hasn't stepped foot inside the Octagon since defeating Nick Diaz at UFC 143 in February of this year, while "Rush" will have been sidelined for 19 months come fight night because of injury.
The only advantage to having extended layoffs is that each fighter, along with their respective camps, have had plenty of time to prepare for the showdown.
For Zahabi, it's obviously a good thing.