For as gifted a fighter as former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight and Middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre is, he’s one of the smartest students of the mixed martial arts (MMA) game, as well.
Recently, “Rush” took the time to break down the upcoming Welterweight showdown between former UFC champ-champ, Conor McGregor, and Donald Cerrone, which is set to go down at UFC 246 on Jan. 18, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“If it’s a quick fight it’s going to be McGregor,” Georges St-Pierre said on the TriStar Gym’s YouTube channel (via BJPenn.com). “If it’s a long fight it’s going to be Cerrone.”
St-Pierre isn’t simply going by tape he’s see on Cerrone, but his first-hand experience training alongside him at Jackson-Wink MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“[It] depends if Cerrone comes and tries to grapple because he has a very good ground game, his ground game is very underrated,” he explained. “I’ve trained with him before, he has good takedowns. He is very explosive to shoot the takedown.
“People don’t know that because he doesn’t use it much,” St-Pierre continued. “He used it against Patrick Cote. If he does that, to weather the first couple minutes of the storm and McGregor’s powerful left hand, I think he can get it.”
“I think if he wrestles in round one he has a good chance to win. But, if he tries to play a boxing and karate game with McGregor, McGregor will knock him out…. It’s hard. The odds are more towards McGregor. Cerrone can pull this off too,” he added, while saying the fact that it’s a Welterweight matchup favors Cerrone.
“It’s at 170, [it’s] Cerrone [advantage] I think. McGregor looks big. I don’t know enough about McGregor. But, from what I’ve seen is he is like a sniper,” St-Pierre added. “When you fight a sniper, you need to move, you need change levels, you need change angles, change [the] distance and I don’t know if Cerrone will do that. He is known to be a slow starter as usual, so if he doesn’t start right away hard with the speed he is going to get caught.”
St-Pierre — who hasn’t competed since Nov. 2017 — however, wouldn't give his personal pick as to who he thinks will prove victorious once it’s all said and done.