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New-look Georges St. Pierre weighs in on bulking up, Anderson Silva and his 2012 Olympic wrestling dreams

The Manchester crowd at UFC 105 got a chance to see welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre at the Fight Club Q & A, prior to the weigh-ins yesterday.

"Rush" commented on everything from his successful title defenses against B.J. Penn, Thiago Alves and Jon Fitch, to a potential super fight against middleweight champion Anderson Silva or even Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields.

"My toughest fight I think was against either Jon Fitch or Thiago Alves. Jon Fitch because he was very well-rounded and was the type of guy who you can try to finish him as much as you want, but he’s always going to come back. And Alves because he was a huge, huge welterweight. This guy walks around at 215. And when I fought him, I was walking around at 185."

Size and weight was a focus for a large part of the Q & A session.

Since his last title defense against Alves — where GSP injured his groin that forced him to sit out the remainder of 2009 — St. Pierre has hired a nutritionist as part of his effort to bulk up. The move hints that a super fight against middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva might be on the horizon.

"I’m not afraid of nobody in the sport. I think everything is a question of time … From what I’ve heard now Anderson Silva wants to fight heavyweight or light heavyweight. He’s getting bigger. I’m getting bigger too, but he’s getting bigger. But maybe one day. Depending on the UFC, depending on what the public wants … one day, if there’s a possibility for a catchweight or something like that happens, then I am up for it."

Of course the effort to bulk up might just be the welterweight champion’s strategy to compete against a younger crop of heavier and heavier welterweights.

"I think it’s a question of two things. The first, size, the weight. That’s physics … It’s proven that somebody with more weight behind the punch normally hits harder than someone who’s smaller. That’s physics. And of course the skill too. I do believe that skill always beats strength and always beats size. That’s a fact. I proved it in my last fight. I was smaller than my opponent and I did very well."

St.Pierre says he used to walk around at between 185 – 187 even as recently as his last title defense, but today weighs 196. He says there is a limit, of course, to how much muscle mass he can put on, because he still has to be able to make the cut to 170 lbs. at weigh-ins.

While St. Pierre has been on the sidelines while the welterweight division figures out its next number contender, he hasn’t stopped training. He’s identifying areas he can continue to improve.

"There is no such thing as an invincible man. Everybody can lose, everybody is beaten, everybody can be beat."

One area he admits he could improve is his Brazilian jiu-jitsu and admits he’d like the opportunity to test his skills against Jake Shields, although he thinks the Strikeforce middleweight champion’s jitz might be on another level. When asked if his jiu-jitsu is better than Shields, St. Pierre held nothing back.

"I don’t think so, and I’m total honest. If you put me in a grappling match with Jake Shields on the ground, he would probably beat me. If you put me in a mixed martial arts fight against Jake Shields, I’m confident that I might beat him. But there is only one way to find out."

Prior to the UFC 105 weigh-ins, St. Pierre also told reporters that he’s eyeing a potential shot to join the Canadian Olympic wrestling team for the 2012 Summer Games, as reported by Slam! Sports.

"It’s something in my mind, but the thing is I’m on contract with the UFC … So I have to be very careful in what I’m saying, but we’ll see."

UFC president Dana White, though, expressed his support for St. Pierre’s Olympic goals, saying, "It would be great if he won a medal." White’s a master marketer for a reason -- an Olympic wrestling medal for one of the faces of MMA only adds legitimacy on a global scale for the sport that’s not yet "mainstream."

Still, St. Pierre, who routinely trains at the Montreal Wrestling Club against some of his country’s top amateurs, is realistic about his chances.

"There is a big difference between saying I want to go to the Olympic Games and actually going to the Olympic Games … It’s very hard. To do the tryouts and everything it’s very hard. You have to pass through a bunch of obstacles before you get there." If he does make the team, St. Pierre plans to compete in the 84-kilogram class.

You can catch the complete UFC 105 Fight Club Q & A video at

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