Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight and Middleweight champion, Georges St-Pierre, knows a little bit about losing a fight everyone expected you to win.
In 2007, massive underdog Matt Serra knocked out “GSP” in what is still considered the biggest upset in UFC history. So it’s safe to say the Canadian fighter knows a little about what it takes to turn around from a loss like Conor McGregor suffered at UFC 257 against Dustin Poirier and stage a successful comeback.
St-Pierre laid out his thoughts on the fight and what McGregor needs to do from here on a new episode of Michael Bisping’s podcast.
“I thought Conor was going to win, but I was wrong,” St-Pierre said. “I was very surprised. Will he keep his composure under the pressure? I think one of Conor’s biggest strengths is that he overwhelms his opponents with his pressure, with his presence. All the information he gives his opponent’s brain and the talking and all that, a lot of his opponents fold under pressure, but Poirier stayed sharp, and it was a real testament of how good he is. It was amazing.”
Poirier did mention after the win that McGregor wasn’t a mythical force coming into the second fight like he was leading up to their first fight in 2014.
“I felt his presence less, his aura less,” Poirier said at the UFC 257 post-fight press conference. “I just saw another fighter tonight. I think the first fight, I was kind of a deer in the headlights, you could say. This time I was just fighting another man. Another man that bleeds just like me. And I knew that.”
“Now it will be really interesting to see how Conor comes back from it,” GSP said. “I believe he can come back from that loss. He’s the kind of fighter who fuels himself on confidence. That is how he performs at his best. I think he needs to be reborn. He needs to change things in his training and in his life that he believes were the causes for his failure. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not as long as he believes.”
“So in my case, when I lost to Matt Serra, I trained myself to believe that I lost to Matt Serra because I underestimated him. Maybe I wasn’t scared enough, maybe I didn’t put too much in training, that’s what I tried to force myself to believe. Maybe it’s not true, but the important part is that he believes in it so he can build on his confidence from it.”
McGregor already seemed busy analyzing the fight and what went wrong immediately after his defeat. He’s already campaigning with UFC to get an immediate rematch. Has he figured out what went wrong? Or is he fluffing himself up with the same sort of delusional denial he continues to exhibit regarding his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov?