As Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight Champion Georges St Pierre prepares to step inside the Octagon with arguably the heaviest hitter he has ever faced, "Rush" has enlisted the help of a Muay Thai legend to help him to sharpen up his striking ahead of his UFC 167 title defense against Johny Hendricks.
John Wayne Parr.
The Australian is a 10-time Muay Thai world champion who starred on the original series of "Contender Asia." The 37 year old, who has spent most of his career competing at 154-pounds, is a veteran of over 100 fights and received the following vote of confidence from St. Pierre's Twitter account:
He's incredible, best striker I've ever seen. Amazing experience!!!
Parr explains how he came to be working with the pound-for-pound great at his training camp in Tristar:
In January I was lucky enough to be invited to do seven seminars all across Canada. I had five days spare and the gentlemen that bought me over asked if I would like to travel to Montreal from Ottawa to meet Georges. Of course I agreed and Firas (Zahabi) said he would put me in a hotel for the night if I could spar the boys.
The next day I was lucky to spar Georges and Rory (MacDonald) at Muay Thai. Without trying to sound like a big shot it was 70/30 my way against both guys. I took photos at the end and said goodbye thinking I would never be back. Three weeks ago, out of the blue, I receive I email off Firas asking if I would like to come come to help prepare Georges for Johny Hendricks for two weeks.
Since I arrived, Georges and I have become really good friends. When I train him he tries to implement everything I show him. To be here and even for Georges to know my name is surreal but now I truly believe I have a friend for life and think we will be working together much more in the future.
Although Muay Thai fighters tend to favor kicks, knees and elbows, Parr is better known for his punches and 38 of his 82 wins have come by way of knockout. There are very few "farang" (non Thai) fighters in the sport who can match his experience and it will be interesting to see what adjustments he makes to St. Pierre's striking style ahead of the UFC 167 pay-per-view (PPV).
UFC 167 goes down on Nov. 16, 2013 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.