Though current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre has been sidelined for the last eight months due to injuries, that hasn't stopped the 170-pound kingpin from making the media rounds at promotional events.
So you could pretty much guarantee that "Rush" wasn't going to miss out on this weekend's (April 21, 2012) highly anticipated UFC 145 event that features two men St. Pierre knows very well, UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones and number one contender, Rashad Evans. Georges has shared some training time with both individuals down at Jackson-Winkeljohns Mixed Martial Arts in Albuquerque and has solid friendships with both competitors.
With Georges' rehab being ahead of schedule, the French-Canadian hopes to get back inside the Octagon before the year's out in hopes of unifying his title with the interim welterweight belt currently held by Carlos Condit, yet another Greg Jackson trained fighter.
St. Pierre was on hand at today's (April 19, 2012) UFC 145 open workouts in Atlanta, Ga., answering questions from media regarding a bevy of topics ranging from his current health status to the possible training conflicts that could arise when he faces Condit to his take on this weekend's 205-pound title fight.
Check out what he had to say (via MMA Heat) after the jump.
"It feels very good but because I had two injuries... It was a patellar tendon graph that I had. I had two injuries, not just one, but this is going to be the strongest graph. In two months, it's going to be 100-percent, but right now I feel that something is still not 100 percent, but in two months, I have no doubt in my mind. I don't want to mess it up. If I try to jump or go to fast, I will have to do it all over again so I don't want to do the same mistake."
The champion gave his insight on this weekend's title fight and talks about the pros and the cons that either fighter will face if they fight with too much emotion:
"I believe it is going to be a very good fight. As a fan of the sport, this is definitely a fight that I wanted to see. Both of these guys are incredibly talented. I believe a mistake form one of these two guys will be fatal. So, well see what's going to happen. There is something different about this fight because they knew each other and it's a lot of pressure. I do not know who will be the favorite because of that. Like I say, if you fight sometimes with too much emotion you commit mistakes. So, it can be a good thing because it helps you to push yourself harder and to perform better but it can also be a mistake because of it, so it will be the experience factor of it. When I fought Matt Serra, B.J. Penn and even Josh Koscheck this last time, was a lot of emotion too. But, I always perform at my best under emotion, some people it's the other way around."
It's no secret that the third party in the Evans and Jones drama is none other than Jon's head trainer, Greg Jackson, who used to train "Suga." Greg also just happens to be trainer to "Rush" and "The Natural Born Killer." However, according to St. Pierre, when the time comes, there will be no issues or favoritism shown to either competitor in their title fight, which could possibly go down at UFC 154:
"For me and Carlos is different because we never actually trained together. We train at the same gym at the same time but we never really trained together. We trained with the same sparring partners. I actually only have shake Carlos' hand. I never grapple with him or wrestle or spar with him, so it's a different scenario for me. But Greg will not be in Carlos corner either, that is the understanding that we had if we had to fight each other, Carlos and I. I don't' lose anything because he is not going to be in Carlos corner either. The bottom line is, the trainer help you a lot during the training camp, it's not during the fight that is going to change anything. It's the thousand repetitions during the training camp that will come out during the fight. It's not at the fight that he is going to say something that is going to come out. When you fight, is mostly about instinct. So even if the Pope is in my corner, I will be fine. Greg will not be in mine or Carlos corner, but I have Firaz Zihabi. For me, Firaz is my number one guy, he is their all the time. The most important guy for me is Firaz Zihabi."
Though he has no issues fighting Condit, a fighter he shares a gym with from time-to-time, there is a certain 170-pound contender that he would absolutely have no interest in fighting -- fellow Tri-Star training partner, Rory MacDonald, who will also be in action this weekend taking on Che Mills:
"I'm not interested in fighting him, to tell you the truth. There are a lot of welterweights and I don't think we have to do it now. Right now there's a lot of challenge. In two years, who knows, maybe I will go to Middleweight. Who knows what is going to happen. So for me, right now I am not interested. He is a friend and he is a brother to me and I hope him the best and I know one day he is going to be world champion."
"GSP" at Middleweight? Music to fantasy matchmakers ears everywhere and somewhere in Brazil, the ears of 185-pound champion Anderson Silva are ringing.
For now, "Rush" is fully focused on his rehab and his upcoming title unification title fight with Carlos Condit.
Drama free, I might add.