Georges St. Pierre is one of the few superstars in the sport of mixed martial arts gaining more and more mainstream appeal with each passing fight.
He is the prototype for the modern-day all-around fighter and a guy who has no visible weakness in the cage. That was clearly evident on the night of UFC 94, which saw him dominate the current UFC Lightweight Champion B.J. Penn on his way to yet another welterweight title defense.
The dangerous Brazilian Thiago Alves is the next challenge that the UFC brass has put in front of him as he continues his march toward the top of the MMA pound-for-pound list.
Will "The Pitbull" be the monkey wrench that could potentially foil a dream fight between "Rush" and UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva?
That question will be answered the evening of July 11 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the much anticipated UFC 100 event. This explosive match up between two well-rounded fighters has the makings to be one of the fight of the year candidates when it is all said and done.
"GSP" took some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions regarding B.J. Penn, Kenny Florian, Anderson Silva and the aforementioned Thiago Alves.
Check it out:
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): I want to ask you about being one of the new faces of Gatorade. What is it like to now be on a list of athletes that represent Gatorade, including Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods?
Georges St. Pierre: It’s a great honor for me. Being in a Gatorade commercial along with all the great ad pieces. It’s great. It’s very important to me as well.
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): You’re coming off an impressive victory over B.J. Penn at UFC 94. Did the fight play out like you thought it would?
Georges St. Pierre: It went exactly like I was planning. I had a strategy and I executed it. It was like everything I thought it was going to be.
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): Was the filming of the UFC Primetime show leading up to the fight with B.J. something you enjoyed or was it an added distraction you had to deal with in your preparations for the fight?
Georges St. Pierre: It’s tough for sure to have a camera in your face, but it’s part of the game. It’s an entertainment sport so I know that people want to know about it so it’s all good.
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): After the fight B.J.’s camp accused your camp of greasing and they took it all the way to the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Can you set the record straight once and all, was there any basis for B.J.’s accusation and what did you think about how B.J. and his camp handled it all?
Georges St. Pierre: It didn’t do nothing bad for me. It meant something bad for B.J. To show I’m a cheater it looked like a bad move. He tried finding excuses. For me it doesn’t take away nothing.
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): I know Kenny Florian has trained a bit with you in Canada for his upcoming championship fight with B.J. Is this a way for you to sort of get back at B.J. on some level?
Georges St. Pierre: Yes, it is. When I do fight I fight with my heart. I don’t fight with my anger. Kenny Florian is on my mind and if he can knock him out that would be great.
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): What do you think Kenny’s chances of beating B.J. are at UFC 101?
Georges St. Pierre: He’s got more than a chance. For me, I will root for him.
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): Now moving forward. Your upcoming opponent at UFC 100 is Thiago Alves. Is this most dangerous fighter you have fought in your career?
Georges St. Pierre: Yes, he is, and I’m looking forward for the fight. I try to see him as a challenge. It’s the toughest fight of my career so I’m excited.
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): Everyone knows Thiago is a well-rounded fighter, but if you had to pick what would you say is his biggest weakness in your opinion?
Georges St. Pierre: He doesn’t have much weaknesses. He’s a very well-rounded guy. I’m going to try to expose his, I wouldn’t say weaknesses, but I’m going to try to take him out of his comfort zone in the fight.
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): We know Thiago likes to keep his fights standing and use his Muay Thai. Are you planning on taking him to the mat or can you still defeat him if you guys are going toe-to-toe the entire time?
Georges St. Pierre: I think I beat him standing up. I think I can beat him on the mat too. I’m going to fight him in a way that nobody has fought him before. As far as my strategy it’s like when you play cards. You don’t want to show your hand.
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): Will this fight go the entire five rounds?
Georges St. Pierre: You always expect the worst. Five five-minute rounds of war. Very high paced. The fight is going to be high paced and I’m ready to go for five five-minute rounds of war.
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): Would you be open to a matchup with Anderson Silva if you are fortunate enough to come away with a victory over Thiago?
Georges St. Pierre: I don’t know about it. For me right now my main focus is Thiago Alves. It would be foolish to think that it would be me next. I don’t want to look past Thiago Alves right now.
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): Is getting a belt in another weight class something you would like to do before your career is up? Is that important to you and your legacy?
Georges St. Pierre: The belt that doesn’t mean nothing to me. The name of the person I beat is what’s important. I have a lot of friends at middleweight. Some like Nathan Marquardt are like one fight away from a title shot and I would never fight a friend. I would never put myself in the way of a friend. My position is at welterweight but for a challenge I’m always accepting to new things.
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): Going back to Anderson Silva. He’s a guy who appears to be hesitant at this point in his career inside the Octagon. He looks like he is being extra careful. You are also a long time champion. Do you feel like once you have the belt you need to be more cautious and is that something you consciously think about?
Georges St. Pierre: You always need to be cautious no matter what. No matter how great of a fighter of you. No matter how good you are. When you’re a champion you’re always one fight away from losing your title and becoming in the same bracket as other fighters. I keep that in mind all the time.
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): As a fan of the sport, who are some of your favorite fighters to watch out there?
Georges St. Pierre: I used to really like watching Kazushi Sakuraba a couple years ago. Nowadays I like to watch my friends fighting. I like Fedor Emelianenko, too. Those guys who are very technical. Lyoto Machida who is very nice. Plus all my friends Rashad (Evans), Nate (Marquardt), David Loiseau, all those guys.
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): How long would you like to continue your fighting career? Is there an age or a year you kind of have in your head as a likely time to stop? Is that something you have thought about?
Georges St. Pierre: It’s not a question of fight for me. It’s a question if I like it. One day if I wake up and I don’t like it the lifestyle that I have has got to change. I can do other stuff. I have other things in my life that I can do. I have other options. I do that because I love it. Of course the money is there, but the first main reason why I do it is because I like it a lot.
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): That’s all I had for you Georges. Before we go is there any message you would like to pass along to your fans out there or any sponsors you would like to thank?
Georges St. Pierre: Yes, I would like to thank Gatorade, Affliction and Xtreme Couture. All my teammates. My manager. My trainers. My training partners. My fans of course for the support. It’s going to be a great fight July 11. Don’t miss it!
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): Alright thanks again. Best of luck to you at UFC 100. I appreciate your time today.
Georges St. Pierre: Thank you very much.
Derek Bolender is a staff writer for InsideFights.com. He is also syndicated at FoxSports.com and CNNSI.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/DerekMMAwriter and on Facebook. Look for future articles from him on MMAmania.com.