Georges St-Pierre made a triumphant return to mixed martial arts (MMA) this past weekend (Sat., Nov. 4, 2017) by submitting Michael Bisping at UFC 217 via rear-naked choke to claim the Middleweight championship.
While “Rush” looked like he hadn’t lost too much of a step given his four-year layoff, Freddie Roach says there were a few concerns he had for his pupil during the title fight, specifically his stamina in the later rounds.
“I was a little concerned (with his stamina). It was obviously a fast-paced fight, and he did box very well in the first round and I was very happy with it. Bisping is a very tough opponent, he came back in the second round,” said roach on The MMA Hour.
“He countered our right hand with his right hand, so that’s where I saw the left hook would work because he is a little bit lazy bringing it back. He was getting a little bit tired,” said the world-class boxing trainer.
Despite St-Pierre’s history-making win, Roach says there is no telling if “Rush” will fight at 185 pounds moving forward due to all of the excess weight he has to carry come fight night.
“I think moving up in the weight division, I am not sure that’s his best weight division or if we will fight there again. We will see where it goes. The weight got to him, he’s not used to carrying that much weight and it fatigued him quicker than usual,” added Roach. “Again, we will work it all out and get together with the whole team and discuss what the next best move is for Georges.”
And just in case you’re wondering, Roach will now be a permanent fixture in St-Pierre’s corner for the remainder of his career, and says the decision as to where “Rush” fights next will be a team decision, not his own.
As for what’s more likely next for Georges, UFC president Dana White revealed during the post-fight presser that he would be defending his belt against interim champion Robert Whittaker.
Then again, should St-Pierre opt to not take the route and instead move down to Welterweight to try and reclaim his old strap, it would give current champion Tyron Woodley his much-desired “money fight.”
And it would also give Georges another opportunity to cement his legacy as the greatest MMA fighter of all time.